Azaleas in full bloom are a traditional indicator that spring has
sprung in the South. To keep them at their best,
here's a few
When azaleas complete their blooming season, it will be time to
fertilize, prune and mulch.
with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or one especially
formulated for acid-loving plants. Follow label directions carefully as
azalea roots are located very close to the soil surface. Over
fertilization can cause damage and plant death.
Overgrown limbs should be pruned out to restore the plant's natural
shape. Delaying pruning until later in the season can destroy the next
year's flower buds.
Lace bugs are the primary insect pest on azaleas. They feed on the
leaves with their piercing-sucking mouthparts.
The upper sides of the damaged leaves show a whitish speckling caused
by the insects feeding on the undersides of the leaves. Garden stores
carry the necessary insecticides to control lace bugs.
Another problem occasionally seen on azaleas is iron deficiency.
Sometimes iron deficiency is confused with lace bug damage. Iron
deficiency gives the leaves a pale yellow appearance rather than the
white speckling caused by lace bugs. Again, garden stores stock iron
supplements that can be sprayed on the plants or applied to the soil to
correct the problem.
To manage moisture, azalea plants need a good soaking of water once a
week. A 3- to 4- inch layer of mulch in flowerbeds will conserve
moisture and reduce weed competition.
Source: University of
Deciduous Exbury Azalea Mandarin Lights
Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases
of North America