We have planted four plants of two different varieties of evergreen azaleas
this year, one of them "rosebud" and the other something whose name I forget
that was a nice peach color. They are in an area that stays shaded by the
house until 2 PM and only gets about 4 hours sunlight total. The soil they
are in drains well, but we have had an extremely wet summer.
They were doing fine until the past month when the leaves of both varieties
got little brown spots all over them just like those of the maples and other
trees around our property which has been attributed to the very high
rainfall. A small portion of the azaleas' leaves are yellowing, but all of
them look pretty ratty with brown spots and holes all over them. I don't see
any sign of insects except for occasional spiderwebs.
My question is, since these are evergreen varieties, will the leaves stay
crappy looking, or will the plant eventually grow new leaves in the spring
to replace the damaged ones and look okay? I don't want to go spraying
poisons on these plants. I am thinking that if they can't survive unaided
where I have put them, I will replace them with something tougher like the
yews which are flourishing beside them, as are my annuals.
-- Jenny (Zone 5 W. Mass on a slightly colder hillside)
The yellowing leaves are 'Guard Leaves', they are usually 2-3 years old and
will be shed over the winter or early spring. Incidentally, when the leaves
turn yellow, the blossoms are white, and when the leaves turn reddish, the
blossoms are red, pink, or lavender.
Check on the undersides of the leaves for evidence of insect poop (little
Thanks all. Another query successfully addressed. As we head into our first
frost tonight I found myself having to stop and reflect on how much I have
learned from this board.
This was my first year in a new house. I started the year with a field of
crabgrass and now have a gorgeous, natural lawn that has elicited a few
words of admiration from my close-mouthed Yankee neighbors. I have taken a
lot of advice about how to enrich my garden soil and expect great things
next year from my fledgling flower garden.
The last time I owned a house, years ago, the only gardening advice I could
find came from those maddeningly vague lawn and garden books and from people
who wanted to sell me chemical services. I never really figured out what I
was doing. But you guys are great and have answered just about every
question I have had. The results speak for themselves!
Sounds like one of the leaf spot funguses (anthracnose, maybe a few
others), and wet weather encourages it, but it will respond to
fungicides. If you do nothing, it will recur and may defoliate and
eventually kill your azalea.
Good garden hygiene will help you avoid or minimize the need for
fungicides: this means, for example, presuming that all the litter
around the plants showing symptoms is infected and clearing it out.
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