Question of the Week: January 14, 2021

“Why is my azalea plant losing so many leaves? They turn yellow, then they fall off.”

Azalea is turning yellow starting with lower leaves first.

We actually have several types of plants that do this every winter. They’re known as being “evergreen” shrubs and trees, but when push comes to shove, they lose lots of leaves in the winter.

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I refer to these plants as being “semi-evergreen,” and my list includes live oaks, glossy abelias, rose bushes and your azaleas, among many others. Unless you’ve done a miserable job of keeping these plants watered properly, it’s just their way of reacting to the changing weather. They’re going to drop their old leaves soon anyway, and they’re just getting a head start on things.

There really isn’t anything to worry about, nor is there anything you can do to stop this from happening. Water your plants deeply every couple of weeks unless you get heavy rains. These leaves will drop and new growth will replace them as springtime unfolds. But in the meantime you’ll have a fabulous spring bloom. Sit back and get ready to enjoy it.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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