Azalea Problems

Asked March 20, 2020, 9:30 PM EDT

I have 2 very mature Azalea bushes. They came with my house and are probably 20-30 years old. Thye have been fine and blooming for the 11 years I've been in this house. My neighbors one the same side of the house s these bushes also have Azaleas, and had some problems last year and cut their bushes WAY back. and now I think whatever problem (insect?) they had is now impacting my bushes. I've attached 3 pics the first 2 are of the first bush, which is not growing leaves. The last 1 is of the second bush who's leaves do not look healthy

Howard County Maryland

3 Responses

The azaleas in the photos look stressed. The leaves are undersized and do not look healthy. The foliage in the right photo shows whitish spots most likely due to a sucking insect pest, lacebugs. We notice lichens in the left and middle photo but they are not a cause for decline. They are considered a good indicator of air quality and do not need to be controlled.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/lichens-trees-and-shrubs
http://extension.umd.edu/learn/i%E2%80%99m-lichen-it-peak-season-lichen-peeping

When stressed by poor site conditions, poor drainage, etc. azaleas can be susceptible to possible root issues and sucking insects like lacebugs.
Azaleas grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade in a well drained soil. If located in full sun, they can be stressed and susceptible to lacebugs. Turn the leaves over and monitor for this. See more information and management http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/lace-bugs-trees-and-shrubs

The plants will continue to be stressed if located in full sun. Check the drainage in the area and make sure there are no downspouts dumping water in the area. Mulch should be no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the plants.
All you can do is prune dead plant material back to healthy tissue and water during dry periods.
If you want to enjoy bloom, prune back to healthy tissue after bloom.

Marian

Thanks for the response... I'll check the drainage and deal with Lace bugs if i find evidence of them