Azalea die back red leaves to dead branches

Asked September 16, 2017, 3:43 PM EDT

Can't seem to get them growing consistently. Three years old, Recently treated for mites and mold, Fertilized every other month with Hollytone. Slight improvement still no where near what I would call healthy. Still scraggly with red leaves and areas of die back.

Charles County Maryland

5 Responses

We are glad you contacted us.
There could be multiple issues going on with your azaleas.
First off, stop fertilizing with Hollytone. In decent soil, they don't need fertilizer at all, or at most once a year. This in itself could cause stress and dieback.
They don't generally get mites, and sometimes get powerdery mildew.
What did you treat them with, and what were the weather conditions at the time?

They do, especially when planted in the sun, get stippled, yellowing leaves from lacebugs, which you will sometimes see, along with their excrement as black dots on the underside of leaves.

It's possible that you are having a problem with plant establishment for some reason. Where are they located and what kind of sun and water do they get?
Can you send us photos of the plant, both the leaves, the whole plant within the garden, and the place where it enters the ground?
They can be attached directly to this reply by clicking on 'choose file' below.


Thank you for getting back to me. Based on your direction I will cease the every other month holly tone treatment. Attached are a few pictures. Thanks Again

Thank you for the photos. The new growth on your plants looks nice and healthy, so that is a good sign that they can recover. We think ceasing the Hollytone applications will help. If you haven't done a soil test in this area, that is something you could do to check the soil pH. Azaleas grow best in soil that has a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6.0.
We don't see signs of lacebugs or other significant insect damage. Are the plants located in full sun or do they get some shade? These are woodland plants and they really do best in a part-shaded location.


They get full shade in the morning. This is until 12 noon. Full sun from then until sunset.

They should be alright then in that location. Just be sure to keep them well watered during dry periods.