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I'm new to gardening as I only got a house with a garden back in April.

I have an azalea of the Blue Danube Evergreen variety, it's potted as we live in an alkaline soil area.  It's potted in Ericaceous compost, in a pot with a lot of drainage media in the bottom, we only ever water it with rain water (from our butt if it's dry) and during flowering fed it with specific azalea feed (miracle gro).

We don't let it dry out but we don't soak it either.

Just these past few days it has started to go brown and wilt.  I have no idea what is wrong despite extensive googling.

Any assistance gratefully appreciated!

Jean Genie

Have you checked the rootball for signs of pests ?


How big is the plant and how big is the pot?  Where abouts does it live?  Can you post us a picture of it?


It's on the patio in my garden which is south facing, currently under a gazebo. 


My severely autistic son took the middle out, I'm wondering if that's what's killing it?




That looks terminal to me-has anything been sprayed in the area-weedkiller of any sort-the only other thing it might be is vine weevil grub attack -tip out of the pot and look for white grubs

But I'm afraid there is not much hope-I don't think taking the middle out of it would have killed it


Definitely not weedkiller, it can't get into our garden.


Then tip the plant out of its pot-you have nothing to lose



Just doing it...


We've tipped it out.  There's no sign of any grubs in there, but we did find these orange spheres?  Not sure if they're anything?


 Also we found that for some reason the roots stayed tightly in the shape of the pot they were originally in before we re-potted it, for some reason they'd not spread out (we repotted at the end of flowering 2 months ago)


The orange spheres are slow release fertilizer.

It may have just died from being too wet and surrounded by wet soggy compost-what you should have done it teased the roots out of the rootball if they were tightly matted and they would have found there way out.

That is my diagnosis anyway-see what others say


That can sometimes happen if the rootball is dry when your repot it - it should be really well soaked and some of the roots teased out so that they find their way into the new compost - the azealea plant might have dried out if the roots weren't in the new soil.  Sometimes, if a plant's compost is very dried out, even if you soak it the water doesn't penetrate - a tiny squirt of washing up liquid can help the water get into the compost as it acts as a 'wetting agent'.

The orange spheres are likely to be a slow  release fertiliser or similar that was in the compost when you bought the plant.

Don't think taking the middle out of it will have killed it, but azelea's aren't keen on being 'hard pruned' so it won't have done it any good either.

Also people often don't realise that azaleas are forest shrubs and don't like too  much strong sunshine, particularly if their roots are dry - so the sunshine we'd been waiting for for so long might have been the last straw for it. 

You can either give it another go, pop it back in the pot again, this time teasing out the roots, give it a good soaking and put it in a shady corner and see what happens, or you can get another plant.  I'd probably do both 


we've pulled out the roots a bit (gently), repotted and taken the dead stuff off, that might finish it off but we'll try, thank you so much everyone 

Just a note to add ...don't plant too deeply. Azaleas, etc., do not like their roots too deep or mulched too thickly. They will die if you do this


Looking at your photo I think your azalea was planted too deep. Was it?

there's now a very thin layer of compost over the root


Glitzy I notice its next to an interior window. Do you keep the curtains open at night time and let the artificial light hit upon on? Plants don't really like artificial light because they don't have the same elements in it as natural sun shine does and at night time it needs to sleep so you're probably keeping it away. Try moving it to a more darker area of your garden away from artificial light and sounds and it will love you for it!

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