Last year my four azaleas got what I think is rust. I treated them with a fungicide, but I didn't know they had the problem until they were almost completely covered. Can azaleas be pruned down to the ground before the season begins this year and save them? Will I just need to dig them up and start over? If so, how do I need to treat the soil before planting anything again?
Salvaging Azaleas With Rust
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I would recommend treating them with fungicide frequently at the beginning of the year, including the soil around the plants. Also, prune some of the interior branches out so that the plant has better air circulation. It has been a rather cold winter, so you have a good chance that the rust fungus has been killed back somewhat to a manageable level.