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in Problem solving
A couple weeks ago I purchased and planted two Encore Azaleas. As you can see from the picture below, some of the leaves have dark brown spots with well-defined lines. Additionally, some of the petals and flowers are wilting and dying early.
It has been a hot couple of weeks, and these azaleas are exposed to a pretty large amount of sunlight. Are these problems heat/sun related, or are they the result of a fungus or disease? Any help is much appreciated!
Sorry, the previous image didn't load. Hopefully this one shows.
Azaleas like a good deal of shade and definitely do not like early morning sun.
Also if you live in a hard water area (check inside your kettle and see if has a lot of limescale) then watering with tap water is a bad idea as Azaleas like acidic conditions.
Is it in the ground or in a pot?
It's in the ground. I think we'll solve the the shade issue relatively soon with some small trees that will provide a few hours of shade each day.
Our town does have hard water. What's the best way to test soil acidity and/or combat it if the soil isn't acidic enough?
Ericacous Compost is the best way to improve Acidity in the soil. Put a good 2inch layer of it around the base of the plant and if possible use rainwater to water it in.
Rainwater tends to be on the more Acidic side which Azaleas like so if you have a waterbutt then use the water from that
You can test the acidity by buying a Ph tester from any good DIY store, usually for a few pounds.