What is Wrong (see attached picture)?

asg123June 1, 2013

I live in Maryland, near Washington, DC. I planted a 2 gallon azalea on the side of my house last fall, in September 2012. It is a Nancy of Robin Hill.

The plant did well in the fall, winter, and first half of this spring, in 2013. Even though we had a cool spring, it started to wilt in mid April. The wilting has continued without stop. None of the leaves have turned yellow, however - in fact, most are very dark green. Two or three leaves did turn black and die. I checked the stems and every one I cut a little to check is green, even the base. Mostly the azalea just seems slowly but increasingly wilting - or weak. I have attached a picture.

The area I planted this wilting azalea is near others on the side of my house -- the closest two are 3-4 feet away - which have done fine. I did have two azaleas of the same kind die in this particular spot - maybe due to too much water in the past or getting cut apart by careless gardeners. Neither thing has happened for this third azalea.

Any ideas on what could be going wrong? What should I do?

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Usually the cause of what you are seeing is improper planting. First, if the roots are not opened up, the root ball can become dry and almost impossible to moisten without digging it up and soaking it. Second, if the roots are not opened up properly, they will strangle each other since when grown in pots the roots start circling inside the pot.

If it is one of these issues, it is not too late to dig it up and plant it properly. See the article below.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Plant (Rarefind Nursery)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 6:31PM
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