Azalea – Dead Area on Side

Q: I have a shrub with problems in my front yard. I cannot tell if this dead pattern is due to the soil or a bug.

A: This shows why it’s important not to shear azaleas. Over the years the close pruning has caused an outer shell of green leaves but the inner part of the shrub has nothing green growing.

So when a limb died, for reasons unknown, it revealed the brown interior of the shrub.

I can see some new growth peeking out from the brown interior. It should be allowed to continue to grow. Eventually this dead area will be covered.

You’ll continue to have problems like this if the shearing continues.

Use hand pruners to open up “holes ” in the exterior green covering of the shrub.This will let sunshine into the center of the shrub and will hopefully get some green growth started there.

In years to come, prune the azaleas to have a loose, open appearance, not the tightly sheared appearance they have now.

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