Azaleas – Dead Foliage

Q: I have several Encore azaleas that have been hit hard by cold weather. Last year pruned them back drastically late March. They regrew and bloomed in October. This year it is worse! All foliage has died and most has fallen. After two bad years in a row, is there hope?

A: I think you’ll have to just wait and see. Encore azaleas are generally tolerant of Georgia winter weather but I think some varieties are a bit more sensitive to cold than others. My guess is that the variance is due to the differing parentage of the different varieties. Keep an eye on your shrubs until mid-May. If there are no green leaves then, they are dead. In the future, be sure to avoid late fall fertilizer application or fall pruning: both can make azaleas more tender.

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