Need help with azaleas

lepollardAugust 5, 2014

I'm a novice gardener, and this is my first attempt at azaleas. I planted two encore azalea bushes in my backyard back in May. My dog decided I had planted these bushes as his new potty spot, and promptly started using them as such. Where he peed on them, all the leaves turned brow and fell off. One of the bushes has recovered well, though it is bald on one half. The other has just been struggling though. Its leaves are constantly drooping. I thought it was likely due to water needs, and upped my watering. It responded well for a short while, but now it's even worse. Perhaps I overwatered? I stuck my finger in the soil surrounding it, and it's still damp, so I haven't watered the past two days. I attached a picture of it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to give up on it if there is hope for it. Also, should I prune off the branches that all of the leaves fell off of due to my dog urinating on them? Or will new leaves still grow on those branches?

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Dig it up and check the rootball. It's very common for the rootball to dry out even though the surrounding soil is moist. If it is dry, soak in water for 30 minutes or so, then replant. If the rootball is a sold mass, pull it apart before soaking.

Hard to tell for sure about the urine soaked branches. I'd check to see if the cambium layer just beneath the bark is green. If it isn't, prune back to an area that shows green or to the base. There probably isn't much to be gained by waiting for new growth even if there is green cambium. Pruning to the base is likely to produce more vigorous growth than you would get from the damaged branches.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:13AM
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Thank you for the advice! I'm going to dig it up today and check out the root ball. Hopefully that will solve my problem. I think you're probably right about cutting back the damaged branches too. It's been a couple of months since my dog last urinated on them (I put up a garden fence around them), and I haven't seen any signs of life yet. Thank you again!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:40AM
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