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Azalea problem

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by Annette on June 24, 2004 02:21 PM
My husband and I planted almost 20 of them this year. All are doing extremly well...all but 2 of them that is. They sit next to each other in the row, and both have dropped all their leaves on one side (the same side, BTW). The other side of them has some new growth, but the front of them that faces the street looks pitiful! I know that out of 20 to have only 2 giving problems is pretty good, especially for someone who's never planted them before. But I'm really hoping that I don't lose these guys and have to replace them next year. The ground in that area is mostly clay, with about 2 inches of "good" soil. When we planted, I used garden soil to backfill instead of the clay that originally came out of the hole. Which is the same as I did for all the others. Also, all the ones that are planted on the front property line have something funny looking about their leaves. They look like they have a patina type finish to them. At first I thought it might be a mold or mildew of some kind, but it doesn't rub off. It's actually IN the leaves themselves. Would our recent watering ban have possibly had something to do with any of these problems? The ban has been lifted, and I water every other day and once a week with azalea food. Suggestions????
by obywan59 on June 24, 2004 04:18 PM
Try raising up the 2 azalea plants that are in the area with the clay soil. They hate poor drainage. Replant them with the tops of the rootballs several inches above the surface of the soil adding soil up the side of the rootballs to make a little mound. This will give them better drainage.

The other problem could possibly be lace bugs. Check out the link for descriptions and ways to combat them.

* * * *
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Terry

May the force be with you
by Arctostaphylos on June 24, 2004 09:03 PM
It sounds like drainage issue to me... the loss of leaves on one side also indicated an abiotic disorder. Does this spot get more sun? Is there concrete or rocks that would hold and reflect the heat? Try and see if you can find any enviromental differences in the area of your problem plants. Good luck.
by Annette on July 06, 2004 05:51 PM
There are six plants in a row. They all get the same amount of light and water. The holes were dug VERY large because of the clay problem. Instead of putting the clay back in the holes when planting, I backfilled all of the with Miricle Grow Garden soil. So they all have the same drainage conditions. I have not noticed any bugs on these particular plants, but I will look at that link to see what it says about them. I noticed yesterday that there is a little bit of new growth on the limbs that lost all their leaves...so I'm hoping that (MAYBE) it was a "shock" problem? All of these azaleas came from Wal Mart (I know...not the best place to get plants! LOL) and all were 1 gallon plants. Maybe I didn't loosen the root ball quite enough on these particular 2? We have a total of 17 other azaleas that we put out this year, and every one of the others look perfectly fine. None of the others have done anything like this at all. Like I said, I WILL check out the link on the bugs...but I honestly don't think that would be it or the other plants around them would be doing the same thing...right?

Thanks!
by Annette on July 06, 2004 06:16 PM
[Embarrassed] [Embarrassed] [Embarrassed] [Embarrassed]

Okay...anyone got any crow??? I think I need a healthy dose right about now! [Big Grin] I went to the link and checked it out, then went outside to check the plants. Sure enough...the FIRST LEAF I turned over had a lacebug on it! OUCH! I will be checking around today to find out where I can get the stuff to quickly take care of the problem. I am also going to have to get more mulch so that I can keep the soil more moist than it has been lately. We can only water on certain days, so I want to make sure it stays moist in between times. All the original mulch I had on them is gone for some reason. I don't know if it washed away or if if decomposed that fast, in either case, they all need more. Thanks again for the input! [thumb]

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