Azalea Brown Patches on Leaves/Distorted New Growth

brown_thumb_2008April 4, 2008

Dear all, I'm new to this forum and hopefully someone can help me out! I bought a small azalea indica 3 weeks ago. It was in flower and very pretty. Then I found some brown/purplish irregular patches developed on some lower leaves. Some leaves dropped and the patches are going to more leaves now. Also the new growth / leaf clusters look small and distorted. The new leaves look shriveled and curled, while the old leaves are flat and extended. I transplanted it into a bigger clay pot 2 days after I bought it. I put it on an eastern window sill which gets morning sun (to about 10:30am). I'm on 4th floor and it becomes windy a lot of the times. Climate here is temperate. Does anyone know what's wrong with this plant? Any advice is appreciated. I've killed so many Azalea plants before and I hope this one will survive! Thanks in advance for all your help. Victoria

Please find photos here:

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

One possibility is that your plant could be receiving too much water, which promotes root rot. You can prevent root rot by watering only when the soil feels almost dry to the touch to a depth of 4", watering about 1g of water at a time on a plant this young and by adding around four inches of mulch to maintain soil moisture.

The other possibility is that the plant has a mineral deficiency and needs something like Epson Salts to add magnesium, etc.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 1:40AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Victoria, you mention wind, but I can't tell from your photos if your plant is inside the glass, or outside and exposed to weather :)

And while indicas will sometimes bloom sporadically off and on during the season, yours seems to be in full Spring flush now - and you've begun your Fall/Autumn there? Is this by chance a forced azalea purchased from a florist rather than garden stock from a nursery center? Knowing would help to answer your questions....

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Hi guys, thank you both for your quick replies! Sorry I didn't mention I'm in Australia. morz - yes we're in Autumn already, we're the opposite season as in US. I bought it in a supermarket - all of the azaleas in there were in full blooms. My azalea is on a windowsill outside glass but under roof which receives morning sun and is exposed to wind but not rain. It's a Paul Schame which according to books doesn't tolerate sun but I thought early morning sun would be all right?

I read some of the old threads and realized that I needed to rough up the rootball before transplanting so I pulled the plant out of the pot yesterday and cut the outside roots with a knife, put it back in and soaked with water. I hope that'll do some good to it?

luis_pr - you mentioned mulch, what sort of material should I use for potted azalea? I tried sphagnum moss before but all azaleas I owned in the past had died so I guess it's probably not such a good idea? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 1:57AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Your Paul Schame azalea is part of a group originally bred as greenhouse forcing plants, available in full bloom from florists at almost any time of the year. While they can be grown outdoors in mild climates, you need to understand your plant has been on a regime of carefully controlled temperatures, fertilizers, light, and growth hormones - the goal being 'living bouquets' and not necessarily with regard to long term plant health.

It may never have been exposed to 'real' sun or certainly not the wind you describe, and would have done better if hardened off, or introduced gradually to outside conditions much like you would do a greenhouse annual in Spring before planting out. Properly conditioned, it could grown outdoors in areas that do not experience hard winter freezes.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 11:31AM
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