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Azalea Plants

Q.My Azaleas Have Lacebugs – I Messed Up – I Sprayed Them – It’s Middle Of August And Hot….

Zone 28025 - Piedmont NC | Anonymous added on August 8, 2021 | Answered

Should I rinse it off – I read that Hollytone is good for them – when do I fertilize with it?

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Answered on August 10, 2021

If you have lacebugs right now, you can apply appropriate counter measures including beneficial insects, insecticidal soaps, chemical insecticides, etc. provided you read the directions and apply if the product directions indicate that no foliage injury will occur when temperatures are warm. If by now there has not been a leaf reaction, the plants may be fine. You may need to reapply insecticides (per label directions) as their eggs will normally produce a second generation around August.

Yes, you can try watering the leaves early in the day so the water will dilute the product and evaporate quicker than at night and not promote leaf fungal infections. Most of the time though, lacebugs arrive in the Spring so be ready for them in Spring 2022 as they may return for a few growing seasons. The mottled look of the leaf lesions remains after the pests have left though. Just let the plant get rid of the leaves when it wants.


Azaleas are not hungry plants like roses are so a single annual fertilizer application in Spring of Espoma Holly-tone should be enough unless your soil is deficient in nutrients (for example, in sandy soils) or when you grow the azaleas in pots. Maintain the soil as evenly moist as you can. Keep the plants well mulched, with 2-4" of organic mulch (no rocks) through the drip line. After the plants are established in the garden in a few years, you can discontinue fertilizing (see the exceptions mentioned above) and let them feed off the decomposing mulch. You can feed them coffee ground, liquid seaweed or liquid fish during the growing season but stop all fertilizer three months before your average date of first frost. In Concord, the average date falls around the last week in October so stop fertilizing by the last week in July. You can fertilize in spring once all risk of frost has passed; the average date of last frost for Concord is the last week in April. Note: these dates are averages and extreme weather can occur before/afterwards.

Note: you can plant aaleas in a tad more shade to maximize the activities of beneficial insects.

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