Help - Azaela leaves turning yellow

parupudiMay 15, 2007


My Azaela's were so good this spring with full blooms of white and pink. Now that the season is over for them, there are just green. But lately some of the leaves started turning yellow and reddish to be more specific with some brown/black spots on them.

Any ideas what is happening to these? I just water them once every 2 days to keep them moist. I have prepared the soil of my flower bed like 3 weeks back adding humus & manure and Miracle-Go Garden Soil mix. Apart that i am not feeding them any fertilizer or anything. They get good sun for most of the day and stay in shade by late afternoon.

Yesterday when i was spraying my roses with Ortho for blackspot, i did spray the azalea's too. Did i do anything wrong?

Here are the pictures:



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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

They do not like wet soil. They do need good drainage. Only water them when the soil is starting to dry out. They do not like too much fertilizer. I recommend only fertilizing once per year in the spring with a good acidic plant food like Holytone and at 1/2 of the recommended rate.

Yellowing and dropping of leaves is normal, especially toward the end of the second summer on the small-leaved lepidote rhododendrons. These should have dense enough habit that this doesn't matter. The larger-leaved elepidote rhododendrons keep their leaves for 3 or 4 seasons. Like all evergreen plants, rhododendrons and azaleas periodically lose some of their foliage, and the leaves may turn yellow, red, or purple before they fall. Often the only leaves that remain are those that surround the flower buds at the tips of the branches. This characteristic is linked to the genetics of the parents used to breed garden azaleas. The degree of leaf coloration or loss is a function of parentage and not the severity of the winter. In unusually cold winters, certain azaleas may lose more leaves than they would in mild winters.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow azaleas and their problems.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Thanks so much. I was really worried if they were getting some disease. I will take care not to over water them. But given the hot and humid weather conditions of Texas, i think they do need water atleast 2 times every week.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:50AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Don't water when you think they need it. Water when you know they need it. They will always show wilting in the heat of very hot days, but if they recover in the evening they are still OK. If they don't recover then watering will easily recitify the problem. You can also tell by checking the soil to see if it is moist. Usually hot and humid doesn't dry out the soil, not nearly as much as hot and dry. I would doubt if most varieties would need watering more than once a week. You may have to be careful because if you have been watering often, your plants haven't developed deep roots which are more drought proof. You may need to ween them from the garden hose.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 3:51PM
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Try the miracle grow product miracid gray & blue box.Works wonders.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 4:56PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Actually miracle is mostly water soluable nitrogen which is exactly what healthy azaleas don't need. It is much better to use a good balanced azalea fertilizer like Holytone. Use it once in the spring at half the rate on the package.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:33PM
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Isnt it neat how theres an expert on every forum?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 11:28AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Yes, Bulldinkie, it is - and that is very sound advice from Rhodyman.

The poster is losing some lower older leaves and that's the natural and normal cycle rather than an indication of anything being wrong or an indication fertilizer is required - if the upper leaves had been turning color they would have been given a different answer.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:44PM
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Not only are the older leaves on my azalea turning yellow but so are some of the new leaves that haven't even fully budded.
It's in a pot and I water every second day in the very hot and dry climate we have here in the highlands of central Mexico. It was doing so well for that last few months especially after I moved it from a shady area to a semi-shady area. What the heck is going on? Help!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 7:54PM
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