Dead branches on azaleas
The azaleas last season were beautiful, blooms last year and this were very full. Recently the same azaleas have been experiencing this die off on select branches. Is this potentially something cyclical, or something more serious that needs to addressed? If so, recommend our next course of action. Thank you
Harford County Maryland
We do not see any specific insect or disease signs on these plants. We do see mulch piled up on the base of the plants. Mulch should not touch the base of any trees or shrubs. Keeping it back about 2-3" is a good rule. Mulch hold moisture on bark, which is not normal or natural, and leads to insect and disease issures.
There also may be some mechanical (breakage) damage, but can't say for sure.
Prune out any dead branches or twigs. Remember that azaleas are shallow-rooted, and so are sensitive to drought. You might want to water them during any droughts.
The great news is that they do not have lacebugs, a very common problem.
Here is a handy diagnostic chart from our website: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG94_IPM_A...