Dried, brown azaleas

Hello,
I planted 2 azaleas last spring and they looked healthy all year. After the snow melted this spring, the vast majority of both bushed appeared dry and brown. I have a few green leaves near the bottom with some flowers beginning to bud. I'm not sure of the root cause (thinking I let the plants get too dry late in the season). Once an azalea reaches this state (dried and brown), is there a way to nurse them back to health or would I be better off replacing them?
I'm in zone 5, planted in partial sun (afternoon) as a foundation planting.
Thanks in advance.
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Maybe. The plant has been heavily stressed either due to drought, winter weather and/or some other factors. It is best to water all woody plants in the fall and spring when it is very dry unless you believe in survival of only the fittest (and many people do). Don't over water or use much water in very hot weather when root rot is a problem. It is the old story, they like "moist, well-drained soil."
You can nurse it and see if it recovers. It is best to wait until the mid of June before you start cutting back branches that show no signs of life. Don't fertilize unless you see good healthy growth, then don't use much fertilizer or fertilize after mid-June. Azaleas have very shallow roots and will not do well the first year or two if it is very dry. Evergreen azaleas are especially prone to this problem the first three years.
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