Something is killing my azaleas

Asked September 27, 2016, 10:22 AM EDT

I have several old / established azaleas in front of my home and a couple of them that are right next to each other have areas that are dying off. It seems to be individual stems / areas of the plants and not the entire bush that is affected. I have noticed several moths flying out of the bushes and there are spider webs around most of the dying areas but I'm not sure that is related. I cut a few of the dead stems off and bisected them but saw nothing unusual as far as I could tell inside the wood. I have attached pictures of some of the affected areas. Anything I can do to save the plants? If this keeps going I'll need to remove them b/c it makes them look pretty bad. Thanks for any help,

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Azaleas can be susceptible to canker diseases ( Botryosphaeria Dieback). This is a common disease in the landscape. Symptoms are scattered dying branches on an otherwise healthy plant. Heat, drought stress, and winter injury can increase disease incidence. Plants should be grown in partial shade, with mulch and kept well watered during dry periods. All dying branches should be pruned out in dry weather and all discolored wood should be removed. back to healthy tissue. No chemical controls are recommended.
Th spider webs and moths are not related. Spiders are predators that keep pests in check. We are not sure what the white balls are on the stems and on the plants. Looks like it may be catkins that have fallen from above oak trees.
You can send additional photos if this is not the case. Here is our publication on azaleas for more information