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Help! What Is Causing My Azalea To Turn Yellow?

Ask The Plant Expert:

Help! My azalea blooms look rusty with a little white and pink mixed in, it. The leaves also look yellow. I really can’t tell you what kind they are, but they grow low to the ground not the tall bushy kind. – Marilyn

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


I assume you are wanting to know what is causing the yellowing in your azaleas.  It could be one of many things: water issue, insect issue or iron deficiency.

  • Azalea Insect Problems

Azaleas are susceptible to an insect called Lacebug. This winged insect basically suck the chlorophyll from the plant giving the leaves a lace white appearance.  If this is the case you will need to spray them with an insecticide. Your local nursery or garden center should have what you need.

  • Azalea Iron Deficiency

Hot Pink AzaleaAzaleas sometime develop an iron deficiency.  In this case, the younger leaves will turn yellow with green veins. If this is the case, you will need to apply an iron treatment to the azaleas.  Your local garden center or nursery will have iron that you can apply to your soil.  Be sure to apply the proper rate for azaleas.  You might also check the pH of the soil and make sure that it is acidic enough for azaleas.

  • Improper Watering

The one issue that most azaleas will have at some point is a water issue — either too much or too little.  Although azaleas like a moist soil, but do not like to have soggy roots. Root rot can occur if the azalea is to wet and thus the leaves will turn yellow and drop off.  However, keeping an azalea too dry will cause the leaves to first turn yellow then brown.  Check you soil moisture level and correct the situation.  Do not over compensate – instead make sure the soil is the proper moisture level — no more no less.  In a few weeks the plant should make a full recovery.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with any thing else.