How to revive a dying azalea by identifying symptoms and treat

How to revive a dying azalea by identifying symptoms and treat

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Are you sure your azalea is dying? Many pests and diseases cause non-fatal issues to azaleas and I cover them here. This guide assumes you have watered your azalea as needed (not let it dry out) and is not too wet such as being planted in poorly draining soil, which leads to root rot or is planted in a container with no holes or is root bound and just needed potting on. But if your plant really is on its last legs, I also give details about how to revive it from that state if possible.

Symptoms to watch out for

Leaves are yellow

seemingly withered rhododendron with dry yellow leaves, outdoor closeup

Both insects and diseases may be the cause here. Read Why are my azalea leaves turning yellow and falling off? to find out why this might be happening and what to do about it.

Leaves are drooping

Drooping azalea leaves have several causes and is fairly common in winter. Learn what they are and what to do about it in Why are the leaves on my azalea drooping?

Azalea not blooming

azalea not flowering

Most azaleas bloom for just two weeks, usually one of the first shrubs to flower in early spring. But if yours hasn’t bloomed at all, you need to read Why is my azalea not blooming? which included too much nitrogen in the soil, not enough sun, and even a disease called petal blast.

Leaves being eaten

What's eating my rhododendron leaves and buds?

If it looks as if something has been nibbling on your plant, check out what it could be and how to stop it in What’s eating my azalea leaves?

General poor health

If your azalea just generally looks poorly and lacklustre, there may still be hope. Read through my extensive article of Azalea pests and diseases (and what to do about them) to see if you can find your plant’s problems there. Azaleas need acidic soil to this is worth checking using a ph soil tester.

The last resort

After your deep investigation as to what’s ailing your plant, you may realise that there are too many problems to solve individually. Or maybe the problems are too far along to be fixed. You need to cut the plant back fully in order to allow it time and energy to revive.

Cut the azalea back to rejuvenate it

Sterilise all the cutting tools you are going to be using for this task.

Cut the plant back to about 20cm to 25cm from the ground. You have a choice to cut the entire plant down or to leave a few stems to produce energy for the plant. Once growth has started up again, cut these stems back as well.

Water the plant well in its current growing season.

If new suckers develop, consider thinning them out as needed.

Only rarely is your azalea really dying.

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