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Is my Azalea dead?

Posted by i_luv_plants 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 25, 10 at 20:53

Hi there. I have had a row of 6 white Azaleas in the front of my house for about 3 years and they were doing great until now. One of them suddenly turned all brown and the one right next to it has brown leaves on the branches closest to the totally brown one. I took a few cuttings and scraped back the bark, it is pale green underneath. I also took a cutting from a healthy azalea and the bark is about the same color as the sickly one, maybe a tad greener. However, I do notice that the branches on the sickly one are a bit browner than the ones on the healthy plant. I was thinking maybe my neighbors cats have been urinating on them all winter since they do hang around in that area. Does anyone have any ideas as to what this might be and if there is still hope for the plant since there is some green under the bark? Thanks a bunch!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is my Azalea dead?

Any watering issues? Any underground pests in your area? Can you check for azalea bark split?

RE: Is my Azalea dead?

Thank you for your reply. They weren't watered all winter but we had snow and rain, the rest of the healthy ones in that area weren't watered as well, not sure if that matters though. About the pests, do you mean moles or grubs? I haven't seen either of those ever in the yard. I just looked at some pics of bark split and that doesn't look like the problem. I am somewhat hopeful because there is green under the bark but then again, could it be dying a slow death...leaves dying first then stems? Thanks again!

RE: Is my Azalea dead?

When testing the soil for moisture, always check areas near the root ball because once the root ball begins to dry out, it becomes difficult for it to absorb water. In cases where the root ball area actually begins to repel water, you may need drastic measures such as extracting the plant and dumping the root ball in water for about an hours or so; or you can turn on the water to drip on top of the root ball for about an hour as well. Extracting the plant also allows you to check if the plants' roots are rootbound.

Yes, I was wondering about underground pests. Some pests dig underground and can damage the tiny roots. Moles burrow around, for example, and damage the roots.

Do you know if water poodles form around the unhealthy shrubs when it rains. I am wondering if they could have developed root rot.

Can you look under the dried out leaves for signs of insect damage?

I take it that this shrub stays evergreen and that is why you are now concerned? Do you know the name of this variety? Just wondering...

Can you post any pictures? A picture that shows the area where the affected shrubs are would be good. A close up of one of the shrubs that is partly alive would also be nice so we can tell how the leaves dry out. And pictures of the top/bottom of affected leaves.


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