April 14, 2020



Azaleas are a classic sign of spring in the south. The colorful blooms are a source of pride for many and are particularly popular in Georgia where the Augusta Masters are famed for the hundreds of azaleas on display during the tournament, Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain has a display of over 20,000 plants and Valdosta is known as the “Azalea City.”

Azaleas prefer warmer climates and grow well in the south, but they can have several common problems. If you notice your azaleas are not blooming as well as they once did, or have other signs of problems like yellowing leaves, these could be treatable problems.

Azaleas prefer well-drained soil.  They are prone to ‘phytophthora’ or a type of root rot, which is often caused by soil that is over-saturated. This might particularly be prevalent this spring with the heavy rains of late winter. This root rot can be evident in smaller leaf size and can be detected by closer inspection of the base of the plant.

Another common problem for Azaleas is insect infestation. Lace bugs are one of the pests that can plague azaleas. These insects are found on the underside of the leaves and are “sucking insects,” that strip the nutrients from the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or white. One of the methods used to control Lace bugs infestation is with biological control. Predator insects can be introduced into the environment to balance the population of sucking insects like lace bugs.


Soil conditions, particularly pH, play an important role in the shrubs and trees in your gardens. Azaleas prefer mostly acidic soil with plenty of organic matter. A plant healthcare specialist can take soil samples to determine your specific needs and then recommend a soil care program that works to improve the health of your gardens.

Your arborist can help identify common problems with azaleas and make recommendations for the proper treatment. Our plant healthcare team is equipped to provide the best solutions for your gardens.