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Container Azalea Plants

Q.This is my azalea japonica – all its leaves have dropped – is it dead?

Zone Galway, Ireland - similar to US hardiness zone 6a | Danil77 added on January 5, 2019 | Answered

It’s by a north facing window. Watered about once a week. It had aphids and spider mites recently but these were killed using Bug Clear Ultra spray. Over the last 6 weeks the leaves starting dropping with the lightest touch and no new ones are sprouting. Hoping it’s just meant to lose it’s leaves in winter!
The buds in the pictures are all dry with nothing really inside. Thanks!

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Answered on January 5, 2019

Here is an article that discusses which azaleas do well as indoor plants and how to care for them. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/azalea/growing-azalea-houseplants.htm They have specific needs which you must honor. Dropped leaves can be caused by too much water which will rot the roots. They should be in fast-draining soil that is kept moist. Adding coarse builder's sand or cactus mix to the regular potting mix helps drainage. Another possibility is that the Bug Clear product damaged the plant. Always double read instructions and apply to a test area at first. This is especially important when treating a plant that isn't specifically listed on the label. Wait 48 hours while you watch for adverse effects before applying to the entire plant. I hope your azalea bounces back with new leaves. Flowering this year sounds unlikely but you never know!

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