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Why Are My Azaleas Dying? Top 7 Causes That Kill Your Azaleas

Azaleas are one of the easiest plants to grow and care for. They tolerate dry and sunny conditions. However, they can be damaged by other problems. So what do you do if your precious azaleas start to die?

There are a few common reasons for this plant to fall into poor health and lead to death. We will cover them in this article. So, without wasting much time, let’s find the answer to, “Why are my azaleas dying?”

Why Are My Azaleas Dying
Azalea transplant dying? – via Reddit

7 Reasons Why Are My Azaleas Dying

Azaleas are popular because they are beautiful plants and do not require much daily maintenance. Yet, it doesn’t mean they’ll last well if completely neglected.

Incorrect Watering

This type of plan requires regular watering to keep the soil moist. Azaleas feature a very shallow root system, and they quickly show signs of drying out. So, not watering them enough can cause them to begin to wilt or lose their vigor.

However, you need to avoid soil being saturated, which can cause some issues. The best thing is to water your azaleas with a generous soak so that there is a trickle emerging from the base of your pot. This way, you’ll know that the water has infiltrated the soil effectively.

It’s essential to keep your Azaleas as hydrated as possible, especially if you grow them outdoors. We recommend watering them whenever the soil dries out.

You will likely need to water more often during the summer months (ideally every 3 to 4 days) and possibly once a week during the fall and winter months.

Utilizing the Wrong Type of Water

Watering Azaleas with the tap water could also be the reason for their death. The reason is that these plants require acidic soil conditions (with a pH ranging from 4 to 6) so that the roots can quickly and easily absorb nutrients.

As we all know, tap water usually has a pH of around 7, which is too alkaline for Azaleas, making it the cause of problems in Azaleas’ root system.

So, it’s best to water your plants with rainwater as it tends to be more acidic than tap water and will promote the acidic conditions in which these plants thrive.

It is alright to water the Azaleas occasionally with tap water, especially if the soil has been appropriately prepared. Just keep in mind that regular watering Azaleas using tap water can raise the pH of the soil, making it harder for them to access the nutrients they need.

If your Azaleas is grown in soil with the wrong acidity, it will show some pretty obvious symptoms, such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth.

The Roots Are Waterlogged

These plants require their potting soil to be moist yet well-draining. So, you should choose a pot with drainage holes at the base so that excess water can drain through these holes.

If your soil doesn’t drain well, the soil will become saturated, and excess water can cause the roots to become waterlogged, leading to root rot (also known as Phytophthora). If this happens, you may have to put in a little effort to deal with it.

Signs of waterlogged roots include yellowing, drooping, or wilting leaves. And if your plants have root rot, it’s easy to notice the foul smell coming from the soil.

If this happens to your Azaleas, it is essential to move your plants into a new pot with better drainage, use new soil, and get rid of any disease branches and leaves.

Adding a layer of gravel to the bottom of the pot is also a good idea as it keeps the drainage holes from becoming clogged with soil, allowing water to drain out of the pot easily.

Many waterers mistake adding a drip tray below the pot to catch excess water to avoid creating a mess. But it will prevent the water from draining out of the pot, causing azalea death from root rot.

Nutrient-Deficient Potting Soil

Azaleas require nutrient-rich soil. As a result, Azaleas grown in pots will be more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies than those grown in the garden due to the limited soil capacity of the pots.

Without additional nutrients to the soil, your Azaleas will have fewer blooms, and their growth will likely deteriorate significantly.

It is wise to fertilize your plants using slow-release and granular fertilizer in the springtime. If you add fertilizer in the summer, it may stimulate the growth of foliage at the expense of flowers.

Not Enough (or too much) Light

Why Are My Azaleas Dying 2
Any tips on how to save my azalea – via Reddit

Azaleas grow and bloom best in partial shade. Full sunlight will burn the young leaves of this plant and cause them to dry out. Brown or wilted leaves signify that your Azaleas are getting too much direct sunlight.

It is essential to find the optimal balance of light and shade in your climate for Azaleas to grow appropriately. 

It is alright to allow your Azaleas to expose to direct sunlight for about 4 hours per day. If your plants are being grown outside, you can place them under a canopy to protect them from the harsh midday sun. Your indoor plants should be moved to a sunny window for about 4 hours a day.

Too High Indoor Temperatures 

Excessive heat can also kill your plants. Unfortunately, azalea novices often make the common mistake of placing their plants in overly hot areas of their home, such as near a forced-air vent or radiator.

Common symptoms of drought include wilting foliage with the leaves curling up and flowers that droop.

So, it is best to locate your azaleas out of the way of significant sources of heat or air currents and make sure that you water your plants as frequently as is required so that the soil is moist.

Dieback Fungus

Dieback Fungus can also cause your Azaleas to die. They cause some branches and leaves of your plants to turn brown while others look perfectly healthy.

Removing any discolored or dead branches and leaves on your plants is essential. You will need to sterilize your pruning shears with diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading the fungus to other parts of the plant.


Why are my azaleas dying? If your Azaleas are dying, it is essential to quickly identify the cause to create a plan to mitigate it. Remember that Azaleas are sensitive to direct sunlight for many hours and need acidic soil to grow correctly.