Shirley Owens <puddleann@...
>Last year my Azaleas seemed to die from the bottom up, turning brown.
>Lost their leaves in the fall and died. I planted new ones this
>spring. The same seems to be happening. I feed every two weeks, a
>gallon of water with Azalea food. If I am watering too much, what is
>too much? I also water about every three days with a sprinkler or
Sounds like way too much fertilizer and way too much water.
First and foremost, azaleas should be planted in areas with moist
acidic soil with excellent drainage. Poor drainage will spell
disaster. A little shade will help mitigate the stress of a hot dry
Next, azaleas should not be watered unless they show signs of
dryness. If the leaves droop in the heat of a hot day, that is
normal. They should recover. If the soil is getting dry, then water
deeply and wait until it needs watering again. Once you start
watering an established plant you will need to keep watering. In
some areas like the Pacific Northwest with Mediterranean climates
with dry summers, some people let their plants go dormant all summer.
Many varieties will tolerate this.
Only fertilize in the early spring and again after they bloom if at
all. Only use a good quality fertilizer like Holly-tone.
It is best to plant azaleas in the fall. Then they have all winter
to get established before the heat of summer. You must mulch if you
live in a cold climate to prevent frosts from heaving the plants out
of the ground.
Make sure you have a variety that is hardy enough to survive your
winters. Mother's day azaleas are usually tender azaleas and are
seldom hardy enough to survive cold winters.
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA