Extension Service said My azalea needs Iron

casanova(z7 Newnan, GA)June 15, 2005

Could anyone recommend a good product for this?

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I've used liquid "IRONITE plus oxygen" with very good results. The yellowing leaves green right up.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:09AM
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casanova(z7 Newnan, GA)

How long does it usually take? I used Miracle Gro, because thats what the lady at our Nursery advised. I myself have never used Miracle Gro. I've heard good things and bad. Either way, Now that I have used Miracle gro....the kind you mix with water and water in how long should I wait til I try Ironite.

How quick does Ironite work? How is it applied? I'm so sick of looking at these ugly leaves

If Miracle gro is okay, then how long til I see results using that. It's a big plant 6ft tall 5 ft wide.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 5:37PM
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Azaleas can be fed iron chelate products available in your local nurseries. Some of the products are liquid and others are water soluble. Green Light sells a liquid product called Iron & Soil Acidifier that I use (2 tbsp/gal of water). It is available at Lowe's, HD's and nurseries here. Greensand can also be used if you are into organic gardening.

Fertilizers containing iron chelates can also be used. Generally speaking, any product that states it is good for azaleas, camellias and/or gardenias should provide a good dosage of iron. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Plant Food is an example. The regular Miracle Gro is not. Follow the directions in the labels.

The yellowing will go away in several weeks, more or less; it depends on many factors so it is hard to say. Be aware that you may have to use these products regularly if iron chlorosis persists.

Our Texas soil is alkaline here so my azalea plants cannot get to the iron in the soil because of the high Ph. I regularly have to supply iron and ammend the soil to lower the Ph.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:43PM
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The directions on product labels do not generally compensate for tall/large plants. They just say things like "x" tbsp per gallon of water.

When you have a medium-sized plant, you may have to feed the plant more solution (2 gallons say) to deal with the chlorosis. As the plant gets bigger yet then you need more solution (3 gallons of mix). Of course, you should not take that suggestion too far since then you start drowning the plant with too much water.

At some point you have to contact Customer Service to see if they recommend tweaking the ratio of their product to the amount of water ("x" tbsp per foot of height per gallons of water).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:56PM
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casanova(z7 Newnan, GA)

Thank you all so much. Like I said the plant I am treating is about 6ft tall and 5 ft wide, and all the new growth looks terrible from lack of Iron, very ugly color.

The one I purchased and the only one Lowe's had at the moment was Ironite plus Liquid. It says one quarter capful per gallon of water for azaleas. That seems like such a little for such a big plant. Any suggestions on how much you would use if it were your plant? Sorry to keep asking so many questions....I'm just trying to fix this ugly foilage, and am so impatient about it. I want it to look better like Yesterday :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 9:10PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Casanova, don't try to fix this problem overnight, you aren't going to get a deep green color in a matter of a few days. Feed it too much, you're going to love it to death...they are not heavy feeders.

Give the product you've already used a chance to work. Was this recommendation from your Ext Agent a visual diagnosis from the sample you took? If so, I would think when your soil test comes back it may show too high a PH...the iron may be there, just not able to be taken up by your azalea until the PH lowered. If that is the case, with your test results should come the suggestion for the correct additives for your soil...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 11:08PM
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You should see improvements within a week but, with such a big plant, it may take several feedings for the whole plant to recover. Contact the Ironite Customer Service to see if they can answer your question about the dosage. Do not exceed the recommeded dosage or frequency. Your plant is under stress but it should recover. As I mentioned before, mine suffer often from this but I am used to taking pre-emptive action.

Are you already using acidic mulch? Like shredded pine bark mulch or pine straw mulch? If your mulch is not acidic, try switching to acidic types. It definitely will not cause any more harm.

Just curious... from what I remember of living in Atlanta, the soil was acidic there. I think Newnan is somewhere close to Atlanta, no? I expected you would have acidic soil too but I suppose I should ask: is your soil is acidic or alkaline?

Other things that could cause problems in acidic soils... Are these azaleas near the foundation? Cement leaches lime over time and that can raise the Ph. Are the azaleas in an area subject to water leaks or an area where water accumulates? That would also cause a high Ph.

PS - You can take a soil sample to your Extension Service for a complete/accurate soil analysis (personally recommended; every 5 or so years if you do not have much to fix) or you can get a cheap kit to get an approximation. Lowe's, HD and local nurseries sell those Ph testing kits.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 11:43PM
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I agree with Luis about plants close to a cement area like the foundation. You will need to apply some chelated iron product on a regular basis (perhaps only once a year, could be more) in order to compensate.

If the plants are not close to cement, then a one time fix may be all you need.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 9:50PM
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rhodie_chick(z7 NY)

My British friends suggset placing a piece of rebar near the palnt. I've had issues with :new" rhodies just having die off after 1-3 years and its hearbreaking and thery're not near alkaline situations. It's not acidic vs. alkaline soil (aka calcium carb leach) but the need for fe+ or iron which I never realized until speaking to my Brit friends as its not even a point easily found in all my searches. Wet roots, etc is easy to find but as my Brit friends said, I have older azaleas in the garden that have similar drainage and they have no issue (although I have questions about their root stock and being indigenous to the area sooo get some rebar from Home depot and see what happens

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 10:50PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Different varieties have different tolerance to poor drainage. Most don't tolerate it. Some love it.

The iron/pH issue is more complex. It is a multidimensional problem where any one of the following problems can cause chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves between green veins).

Many conditions can be responsible for an iron deficiency. Poor drainage, planting too deeply, heavy soil with poor aeration, insect or fungus damage in the root zone and lack of moisture all induce chlorosis. After these conditions are eliminated as possible causes, soil testing is in order. Chlorosis can be caused by malnutrition caused by alkalinity of the soil, potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, iron deficiency, magnesium deficiency or too much phosphorus in the soil. Iron is most readily available in acidic soils between pH 4.5-6.0. When the soil pH is above 6.5, iron may be present in adequate amounts, but is in an unusable form, due to an excessive amount of calcium carbonate. This can occur when plants are placed too close to cement foundations or walkways. Soil amendments that acidify the soil, such as iron sulfate or sulfur, are the best long term solution. For a quick but only temporary improvement in the appearance of the foliage, ferrous sulfate can be dissolved in water (1 ounce in 2 gallons of water) and sprinkled on the foliage. Some garden centers sell chelated iron that provides the same results. Follow the label recommendations for mixing and applying chelated iron. A combination of acidification with sulfur and iron supplements such as chelated iron or iron sulfate will usually treat this problem. Chlorosis caused by magnesium deficiency is initially the same as iron, but progresses to form reddish purple blotches and marginal leaf necrosis (browning of leaf edges). Epsom salts are a good source of supplemental magnesium. Chlorosis can also be caused by nitrogen toxicity (usually caused by nitrate fertilizers) or other conditions that damage the roots such as root rot, severe cutting of the roots, root weevils or root death caused by extreme amounts of fertilizer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chlorosis in Rhododendrons

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 12:54PM
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I am not sure how much this will help you, but I found a lot of great information last week about iron deficiency. One of the best sources I have is linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Iron Chlorosis

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 5:05PM
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I am not sure how much this will help you, but I found a lot of great information last week about iron deficiency. One of the best sources I have is linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Iron Chlorosis

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 5:06PM
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