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Azalea Plants

Q.azalea seems to be dying

Zone Petaluma California, Zone 15 | Anonymous added on October 24, 2018 | Answered

Hello I am concerned about our recently planted Azaleas We have amended our adobe soil with Acid rich Azalea soil, dug deep and wide hole for plant and have been watering regularly daily and once every 2 weeks with Miracle grow for Azaleas. The plants are wilting, leaves are curling and dropping off. We stopped watering thinking this would help the situation but getting worse! Can you suggest something? Gets about 2-3 hours of sun a day
Thank you

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Answered on October 25, 2018

You don't indicate how long the plants have been in the ground and how long you watered daily, but if that went on for any period of time, the damage may have already been done and backing off on watering may be too late.
Digging a planting hole in clay soil even if amended, can create a non-draining water basin, waterlogged soil, and cause root rot. Azaleas are very susceptible to Phythophthora root and crown rot.
I recommend digging them out of the current, possibly waterlogged holes and re-planting them in a raised mound area that will be better growing conditions for Azaleas.
Subdue Maxx systemic fungicide (or the generic Mefenoxam) is one of the only products that is effective for suppression of Phytophthora, if that is in fact what it is affecting your plants. You only need 0.01 ounce per gallon of water as a soil drench for root uptake. But if the plants are wilted and dying, then the material will not be taken up by the roots an will be wasted.

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