Sick Azalea

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Raging Bull
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Sick Azalea

Post by Raging Bull » April 2nd, 2020, 11:53 am

A few months ago I picked up this azalea from the "Specials" table at Bunnings. It wasn't very healthy but for $3 I thought "give it a go" to see if I could revive it. I re-potted it into a slightly larger pot with a free draining mix of 60% cheap potting mix, 30% perlite and 10% coarse washed river sand. Since then there's been no real change. Obviously it's lacking something , but I don't know what. :lost: It's the only azalea I've got and I have no experience with azaleas. It's been watered and fertilized regularly with my other trees, but still isn't improving. :( Any helpful ideas or hints would be appreciated.
Azalea leaves.JPG
2020.04.02 e.JPG
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Re: Sick Azalea

Post by anthonyW » April 2nd, 2020, 12:19 pm

Looks like lacebug they suck all the chlorophyll out of the leaves..your images are blurry to me so thinking that way for as best I can make out.

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Re: Sick Azalea

Post by rodm » April 2nd, 2020, 1:44 pm

Yep you need to get rid of the lace bug. If you can find some confidor that will done the trick, but you might have to find an alternative. It supposed to to be banned, apparently it’s not good for the bees. Don’t feed it too much while using it. :lost: the alternative is, for what’s worth, maybe bin the plant and buy a healthy azalea :imo:
Cheers RodM

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Re: Sick Azalea

Post by Phil Rabl » April 2nd, 2020, 2:01 pm

Don't spray now. Lace bugs go through several generations during summer, so spraying your azaleas then with a contact insecticide is futile because eggs are constantly hatching. However, eggs laid in autumn lie dormant over winter and hatch in spring. The new season’s nymphs do not emerge all at one moment, so spraying too early with a contact insecticide will kill only the first of them. But one application of a suitable systemic insecticide in mid to late spring will kill the later emerging nymphs as well as the earlier ones before they reach adulthood.

Minor occurrences of lace bug do not harm the plant seriously. A little damaged foliage can be pruned. Be aware of the plant’s general growing conditions. An azalea growing in a hot sunny location, where it suffers water stress, is more vulnerable than a plant growing in the shade. You could also try horticultural soap in spring: Add two tablespoons of soap flakes to one litre of water and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved (this is quicker in warm water). There is no need to dilute this further, just spray it on as is.

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Re: Sick Azalea

Post by Raging Bull » April 5th, 2020, 9:13 am

Thanks all for your help. I think my best option is to prune back hard in winter and then spray with Roseshield to prevent future lacebug problems. It still produces new leaves at the ends of the branches, so I'll spray those as they appear and hope it makes it through the winter. :fc:
Cheers, Frank.

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