Need help with Azalea, Please!

Balakeh

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
Hi Bonsai Nuts! I am currently having some major issues with my azalea. It has been losing leaves for the last three week. The leaves have been losing color; turning brown, black, and the tips of some of them have been turning brown as well. I was not having any sorts of problems with the tree for the year I have owned it, but I went out of town for 5 days and have a friend water it. I believe she watered it almost every day. Since then I have been dealing with the leaves turning brown/black and falling off. I had remedied the problem for a bit and it slowed down but now the leaves are falling off at an alarming rate. I live in CA with 85-90 degree weather. I water the tree every 1-2 days depending on how wet the soil is. I haven’t fertilized it for the last month, but added fertilizer yesterday. I think I am dealing with either root rot or a lack of nutrients/ph balance.

please let me know your thoughts! This trees health is declining rapidly.
 

Attachments

  • 9C3712F6-A81D-46F5-9B29-D84D06134518.jpeg
    9C3712F6-A81D-46F5-9B29-D84D06134518.jpeg
    184.7 KB · Views: 89
  • 60120AB3-5FD1-4CE7-A5FA-789DDFAC5CA8.jpeg
    60120AB3-5FD1-4CE7-A5FA-789DDFAC5CA8.jpeg
    232 KB · Views: 75
  • C76BD684-B1EA-44B2-BB2D-C55D1EC72C46.jpeg
    C76BD684-B1EA-44B2-BB2D-C55D1EC72C46.jpeg
    193.7 KB · Views: 73
  • 1A960065-3423-427C-8F28-67222DCEF381.jpeg
    1A960065-3423-427C-8F28-67222DCEF381.jpeg
    197.8 KB · Views: 70
  • 4958C995-0BB9-4CFD-BC72-9544A0821F33.jpeg
    4958C995-0BB9-4CFD-BC72-9544A0821F33.jpeg
    222.4 KB · Views: 72
  • F171239C-65F8-4897-B903-3D1DCB3363B0.jpeg
    F171239C-65F8-4897-B903-3D1DCB3363B0.jpeg
    210.6 KB · Views: 72
  • EA2F74CE-0086-4F66-9B55-C07513465D61.jpeg
    EA2F74CE-0086-4F66-9B55-C07513465D61.jpeg
    307.5 KB · Views: 61
  • 913ED813-CD70-40EE-BC48-D58062914353.jpeg
    913ED813-CD70-40EE-BC48-D58062914353.jpeg
    293.7 KB · Views: 78

Ugo

Mame
Messages
248
Reaction score
309
Location
Qc, Canada
USDA Zone
5A
Hi!

Ill try my best but take my diagnosis with a grain of salt since I'm no expert but it seems there are various contributing factors.

Can you tell us what type of soil the tree is in?

Not all but some leaf damage starts from the outside in affecting 2 types of leaves the old ones and the new growth leaving the most robust "okay-ish" which could be physical damage from sunburn.
could you tell us more about the exposure of the tree to the sun? Hours and if you have any type of protection.

A little tip that seems to help my trees going through theses intense weeks is I recently added a small detail in my watering technique:
-So on one side there is regular full watering when the substrate is dry
But also
-Watering the foliage only when the substrate is humid but it is very hot. the ideal is to be certain that the water that has been sprayed will have time to evaporate.
So you cool down the foliage quickly this way which I think helps the tree alot!
Misting works but quick watering of the foliage works best for me.

As you probably know the ideal would be for the moment to move the tree in the shade and continue your attention correct watering at least for a few weeks and wait for a positive reaction.

Good luck and I hope I pointed you in the right direction
Ugo
 

Deep Sea Diver

Masterpiece
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,508
Location
Bothell, WA
USDA Zone
8b
Greetings and welcome aboard Bonsai Nut!

Sorry to hear about your situation.

This is what I think. If the tree was under the same sun conditions It’s either

Too much water causing root rot - definately could be the issue.

or Nutrient deficiency - caused by alkaline media (not likely) or alkaline water (likely) or by root issues (likely),

Either you have alkaline conditions and stopped using an acid fertilizer, which could kick off this issue over time…
or it’s a root issue. Most likely roots, so we should by start treating this.

(I can’t be sure if alkaline water is the cause as I am unable to access up your area’s Water Quality Report as the location is not posted on your icon. To correct this, please click your icon on the top of the page, then click Account Details, scroll down and add your approximate location and USDA Zone.)

Action for you please….
1. Please post your icon data for us to use when helping
2. Apply 3 TBSP 3% H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) in QT of water on the roots now. Then add 2 TBSP /QT water when watering every other day for a week. Spray the leaves too. After one week, switch to once a week.
3. Stop fertilizing - if there is a root issue this may make things worse.
4. Please post what fertilizer is being used.
5. If you can, please access your local water quality report - if you can’t we can look it up if you post who your water provider is.
6. Also, for background, It would be most helpful to know when the last repot was done and also what media is being used. (Thanks @Ugo )

cheers
DSD sends




.
 
Last edited:

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,642
Reaction score
10,941
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
I don't think 5 days overwatering is enough to cause root rot. That takes many weeks of soggy soil conditions.
I'm having trouble reconciling CA climate with an azalea in a pot only needing water every 1-2 days in summer???? My soil may be different but mine need watering twice a day in summer.
Knowing what soil the azalea is in is an important first step.
You mention watering according to how wet the soil is which sounds promising for that aspect.
Acid balance is important for azalea health and soil acidity can change over time as mentioned above so that would be something to check if possible and definitely check the water quality if you have not done so.

The longer the tree is left in the pot the more root bound it becomes and all sorts of things change as a result so just because you managed with a certain watering/fertilizing/sun regime last year does not always mean the same treatment will be OK after another year of root growth filling the pot.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,939
Reaction score
12,713
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
FWIW, this looks like more than 5 days of decline. It looks like more than 30 days of decline. I suspect the potting medium, water or fertilizing regime.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,939
Reaction score
12,713
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
Five days of wet substrate is not going to do that to an azalea. I would say the azalea went bone dry and those leaves/tips got burnt by the sun. The tree looks severely stressed right now.
I had considered this and still find it quite likely, put there is definitely something else going on too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ugo

Pitoon

Masterpiece
Messages
4,560
Reaction score
9,562
Location
Southern Maryland
USDA Zone
7b
I had considered this and still find it quite likely, put there is definitely something else going on too.
Possibly there could be other issues. He could check for borers by seeing if there's any frass on top of the substrate. But typically when there's a borer you will see entire branches with leaves slowly wilt as the branch dies. In his pics I only see the tips and outer leaves dried up, while the inner leaves still look good/somewhat decent. Could be a blight issue, he could confirm by looking for fungal spores/spots on the leaves and branches.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,939
Reaction score
12,713
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
The yellowed leaves with strong veining are definitely a nutrient or pH problem.
 

Pitoon

Masterpiece
Messages
4,560
Reaction score
9,562
Location
Southern Maryland
USDA Zone
7b
The yellowed leaves with strong veining are definitely a nutrient or pH problem.
I agree, looks as if chlorosis is starting to set in. The problem I see is that the tree is so stressed right now, makes it harder to pinpoint the issue.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,939
Reaction score
12,713
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
I also would check for spider mite. Some of the mottling on the darker leaves look like it could be an issue.
 

Deep Sea Diver

Masterpiece
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,508
Location
Bothell, WA
USDA Zone
8b
Yep. There were multple symptoms considered.

The tree appears chloritic, has dead and browning leaves from the tips, sides and base of some leaves, leaves are curled, some leathery and discolored….. and the tree looks like it hasn’t been pruned back and thinned for a long time.

So all indications are a long term issue that built up to finally show a weak tree during sunny, warmer temperatures after flowering time.

Absent any hard information on water quality and repotting frequency…. root rot due to overwatering or roots dying/weakened due to compaction seems to be a good place to begin. At this point H2O2 won’t hurt and could help due to its oxygenation/antiseptic properties.

Awaiting more information from OP.

cheers
DSD sends
 

Balakeh

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
I appreciate everyones reply and helpful information.

The tree is potted in an organic soil mixture, nothing special but it drains well. The soil being used is what I received the tree with and have not yet repotted it into a traditional kanuma mix. The photos above is what the tree looks like three weeks into distress, it started a few weeks ago after I was away for 5 days and had a friend look after the tree.

The tree gets sunlight for most of the day but under a 70-80% sun blocking tarp. I do not believe there are any bugs or spider mites affecting the tree, I think it is something to do with the PH in the soil or phytophthora (root rot). I have had the tree for almost a year now, I received it last September. I have been using the same fertilizer on it and have not had any issues up until now.
 

Balakeh

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
I appreciate everyones reply and helpful information.

The tree is potted in an organic soil mixture, nothing special but it drains well. The soil being used is what I received the tree with and have not yet repotted it into a traditional kanuma mix. The photos above is what the tree looks like three weeks into distress, it started a few weeks ago after I was away for 5 days and had a friend look after the tree.

The tree gets sunlight for most of the day but under a 70-80% sun blocking tarp. I do not believe there are any bugs or spider mites affecting the tree, I think it is something to do with the PH in the soil or phytophthora (root rot). I have had the tree for almost a year now, I received it last September. I have been using the same fertilizer on it and have not had any issues up until now.
This has been a very slow process with it starting three weeks ago and progressively getting worse. I believe the water in my city, Yorba Linda CA, is very hard containing minerals like calcium and magnesium. I would assume this means the water is much more alkaline than acidic. The trees condition does seem to get worse as the day goes on after it gets very hot outside.
 

Glaucus

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
588
Location
Netherlands
USDA Zone
7b
Is it not a dwarf rhody? Can't say for sure.
The tips of the leaves burned because there was not enough water in those plant tissues.
It is all of the plant at the same time, so I would say not root rot.
 

Balakeh

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
Is it not a dwarf rhody? Can't say for sure.
The tips of the leaves burned because there was not enough water in those plant tissues.
It is all of the plant at the same time, so I would say not root rot.
The affected/dying leaves started in one area of the tree at first but now it is the entire tree that is suffering
 

Balakeh

Seedling
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
USDA Zone
10a
Greetings and welcome aboard Bonsai Nut!

Sorry to hear about your situation.

This is what I think. If the tree was under the same sun conditions It’s either

Too much water causing root rot - definately could be the issue.

or Nutrient deficiency - caused by alkaline media (not likely) or alkaline water (likely) or by root issues (likely),

Either you have alkaline conditions and stopped using an acid fertilizer, which could kick off this issue over time…
or it’s a root issue. Most likely roots, so we should by start treating this.

(I can’t be sure if alkaline water is the cause as I am unable to access up your area’s Water Quality Report as the location is not posted on your icon. To correct this, please click your icon on the top of the page, then click Account Details, scroll down and add your approximate location and USDA Zone.)

Action for you please….
1. Please post your icon data for us to use when helping
2. Apply 3 TBSP 3% H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) in QT of water on the roots now. Then add 2 TBSP /QT water when watering every other day for a week. Spray the leaves too. After one week, switch to once a week.
3. Stop fertilizing - if there is a root issue this may make things worse.
4. Please post what fertilizer is being used.
5. If you can, please access your local water quality report - if you can’t we can look it up if you post who your water provider is.
6. Also, for background, It would be most helpful to know when the last repot was done and also what media is being used. (Thanks @Ugo )

cheers
DSD sends




.
I applied the H202 and will continue this as you directed. Do I spray the leaves with regular water?
 

Attachments

  • 5D370DCF-220B-42ED-911B-EC5BB09D1A99.jpeg
    5D370DCF-220B-42ED-911B-EC5BB09D1A99.jpeg
    246.7 KB · Views: 51

waydeo

Mame
Messages
103
Reaction score
59
Location
Northwest Georgia
USDA Zone
7
Follow the sage advice here. I would add use H202 drench as penumbra suggested also diluted miracid for the ph once a week or two (what do you guys suggest )as a soil drench and keep a eye on it . Maybe add a spray of insecticide soap to rule out mites . Good luck .
 

Deep Sea Diver

Masterpiece
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,508
Location
Bothell, WA
USDA Zone
8b
The latest Yorba Linda AWQ Report shows 16 grains/gallon or 274 ppm. CaCO3. Yep, your water is very hard. Th pH is 8.1, borderline for your . So it’s a hardness issue

- Good on the Hydrogen Peroxide treatment.

- Also, arrange to have the tree under shade cloth, but give it only early morning sun. Mist the leaves often. Remove dead leaves.

- The water hardness needs to be addressed soon. An easy start would be to get Miracid fertilizer (Not Miracle Gro!) and distilled water. The add Miracid fertilizer 1/4 Teaspoon per gallon of water when watering. This ought to solve the issue, but will be a bit pricey buying distilled water over the long term.

More on this on the next post.

cheers
DSD sends
 
Top Bottom