Dying Azalea Help

Hanover, MA

So our new azalea(planted late last Summer) didnít bloom much and then started dying back. Leaves on one side curled up and fell off. Thought it might be a soil or root issue. Dug it up and remediated the soil with peat, poop and topsoil as it is in a clay rich spot. Seemed to be doing ok.

We went Away for a few days and it took a turn for the worse. I think it may be lace bugs or some other pest. Any suggestions?

Thumbnail by ABSinger Thumbnail by ABSinger Thumbnail by ABSinger Thumbnail by ABSinger
Ottawa, Canada

Hi,
First, that is a rhododendron, probably a PJM.
Azaleas are deciduous, that one looks evergreen.
I have many up here in Canada. You said planted last fall, so it looks like it was not well established before winter, got stressed, and didnít bloom well, and maybe die.
They need well drained soil, acidic and a good mulch. If done well they will come back and last a long time, but in clay which I also have, they donít do well. Often when you buy them, itís multiple plants in a pot, hence one Ďsideí dies and the other lives. Prune back any dead branches in late summer, otherwise never prune anything except dead branches. Next years flower buds, will grow this fall. Mulch and water well this year, weíre in a drought already, and it should come back.
Good luck,
Richard

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