Q.Encore azaleas turning brown
I had 6 encore azalea plants planted in August. One is completely brown. Three have brown branches. Watering has been drip irrigation for 20 minutes every other day. They are in a shady area with some morning sun.
Any ideas what could cause this? I will be suspending watering this weekend.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If you can include photos, then I can make a better diagnosis, but it sounds like a fungal infection. Unless it is hot, or very dry, it may not be necessary to water that often.
As a general rule, one should water when the soil is completely dry down to about 2 inches. Sometimes it is good to let it dry out just a little more than this as well.
I recommend treating the area with wettable sulfur, and just a small closed handful of dolomitic lime around the base of the shrub out to about 1 foot around the tree on each side. This will be a light, even broadcast.
These will help fight the infection, as well as recondition the soil back to a more suitable condition.
This article will give you more information on the care of these: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/azalea/azaleas-noteworthy-shrubs-for-any-garden.htm