Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Replacement azaleas

Posted by workingmomx3 6 - PA (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 22, 09 at 11:50

First off, I am a novice gardener, so please bear with me. I've only recently had the time start working with our landscaping.

Our landscaper put in 3 girard azaleas in August 03 when we relocated to PA. The bed is on the north side of our house and is partially shaded from the afternoon/late afternoon sun. It is not a foundation bed. I started having problems with lace bugs in spring 2007. I had a tree service treat them in 07 and I did it myself in 08. I replaced one azalea in spring 08. This year, the one I replaced is completely dead. The other 2 are mostly gone. question...given my location should I replace with the same type azalea or try a different variety? Or should I try something else entirely? A neighbor, who is a landscaper, told me he has been having problems with girard varieties during the past 2 years and is not using them now. We didn't have time to finish the conversation to find out what he is recommending. I haven't had the time to head out to our local nurseries to see what they are recommending. I thought I would start here and take your ideas to the nurseries to compare with what they are carrying.

Thank you! Off to read more at GardenWeb on the care and feeding of my plants.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Replacement azaleas

Too much sun can keep away the very beneficial insects that keep lace bugs in check but I doubt that lace bugs by themselves are the reason why the Girard shrubs did not make it. I have not heard of problems with them; they are basically carefree shrubs. Cold hardy too. Have you done a soil test lately? Did the plants suffer because of a drought? Were they planted lower than the surrounding soil?

RE: Replacement azaleas

... were they under walnut trees. (they kill azaleas)

Were they mulched. Azaleas have shallow roots and will not compete with grass or weeds and do not like their roots disturbed. They need to be mulched.

Here in the Reading, PA, area, we have had some drought damage. It usually kills individual branches, eventually killing the entire plant.

Were the leaves nice and green, if not you have nutrient problems. Excess nutrients promote larger than normal populations of azalea pests like lace bugs and azalea whiteflies.

Lace bugs are more prevalent on certain varieties. The following azalea cultivars have resistance to azalea lace bug: ´Dawn,´ ´Pink Star,´ ´Ereka,´ ´Cavalier,´ ´Pink Fancy,´ ´Dram,´ ´Seigei,´ ´Macrantha,´ ´Salmon Pink,´ ´Elsie Lee,´ ´Red Wing,´ Sunglow´ and ´Marilee.´ I didn't look to see if they are good in Zone 6.

Here is a link that might be useful: Problems and fixes for rhododendrons and azaleas.

RE: Replacement azaleas

Thanks rhodyman. I'm very near to you so your advice is especially pertinent. What varieties do you have? I've been assuming whatever is sold locally (Spayds, Esbenshades, etc) should be good for Zone 6.

No walnut tree. Only a small plum tree in the same bed.

From what you said, I'm wondering if it was drought damage from the past 2 years in addition to being weakened from the lace bugs. I didn't mulch last year since the mulch was so deep in most of my beds. Additional mulching would have helped. Some of the leaves turned rust brown and whole branched died out. The newest plant died off completely, whereas the other 2 shrubs look like they are almost gone now.

What else should I have done nutrient wise?

RE: Replacement azaleas

They feed off the decomposing mulch so unless your soil is defficient of minerals, you would not need to add anything. That is why mulching is recommended so much in this forum. I feed them either cottonseed meal or Holly-Tone after they bloom in late March/early April but have skipped feeding them some years as well. You can also apply coffee grounds, Liquid Seaweed and Liquid Fish during the rest of the growing season. But stop all fertilizers by July.

RE: Replacement azaleas

Thanks for the tip about the mulch and fertilizing. I have Holly Tone (I'm not a coffee drinker). I'll be ordering mulch tomorrow so that will be a start.

Believe it or not, but one of the half dead azaleas has bloomed. Once I get my camera back I'll have to take a picture of it. Then I can ask here if it's worth trying to salvage or not. I just hate getting rid of it if it has a chance to make it. I have no other shady spots for it.

Heck, I even have a hard time trimming back my house plants. I don't want to waste the cuttings, but I have no more room for additional plants and my friends don't want them either, lol!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here