Azalea leaves browning and falling

Hi all

I have had this Azalea for a year now, last year it did really well pushed out flowers. The tree did everything I wanted it to do.

This spring I have noticed that some of the leaves have started to brown, even some new growth. It is really weird as it hasn’t happened to my smaller azaleas.

Please have a look and advise as to what you believe is the reason for this browning. The watering is fine, i regularly check the soil moisture levels.

Thank you

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I’m having the same problem, and my tree looks even worse than yours. I sprayed it with Daconil, thinking it was a fungus, but it didn’t seem to help. Now the tree is totally covered with flowers, to the point where I can’t even see the leaves, let alone spray them. I’ve never had an azalea before, so I’m lost as to where to go from here. You have my sympathies!

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See I initially thought it was sunburn, so placed it in an area with partial shade, but new leaves are continuing to brown so that possibility has been ruled out.

From your images, it doesn’t really look like your tree is pushing new growth yet. New growth is typically a lighter lime green on mine. Mine does shed some of last years leaves as buds swell and new growth begins. Overall, your tree looks fairly healthy to me.

Photo for comparison (don’t mind the lace bug damage from last year, oof)

Hi Chuck thank you for your reply. The tree has pushed some new light green growth but not a lot. I think where I went wrong was I did not prune it last year after removing the flowers and de-heading the flowers.

I have checked the Ph and it is slightly on the alkaline side of things. So I have used a sulfur powder to lower the ph and make it more acidic. Its worked well with my dawn redwoods.

I will post pics late next week to show an update. Your words give relief as I was starting to panic lol.


Hi Ali, very nice Satsuki! Any updates?
My shohin is doing the same, I though it was lack of watering but I still don’t know. In any case I found this very interesting post in bonsai tonight


I had a look at the link but that is definitely not what’s going on with my tree. As the growth is falling off. I managed to take some close up pictures or leaves at different stages of development.

Although it is a very good idea to show the different stages of development I can barely see the colours, I think you need more light! Also it will be help full to know how you are fertilizing etc.
Any how, I suggest you join the free live Peter Warren streams on you tube where you can ask him :slight_smile: his Facebook is:
And in you tube just type saruyama bonsai.
Because of the lock down he has been doing this quiet often.
Good luck and please keep updating.

Thank you for your help, ill post some better pictures with better lighting. =)

I streamed into a few of Peter Warren’s live stream, never crossed my mind to ask him :grimacing::grimacing:.

Hey buddy

So I took some more pics and of the fertiliser I am using. I hope these are clearer. I have just started to fertilise my tree three weeks ago.


Every single Azalea I’ve ever owned does this before dying out. I attributed it to the temps going up and lack of humidity. Would love to see you resolve it!

My azalea lost a lot of leaves over the winter into the spring and I was very worried about it at the time, but it is just finishing blooming and seems to be doing well. Before flowering, the new leaves seemed to be too pale a green (not your problem) but I put it under a mesh screen and it’s getting better.

Apologies for such a late reply.

My Azalea is not well at all, the leaves keep dropping even new growth, and no one seems to know why, so I’ve pretty much given up. I have placed it in a humid environment to see how it reacts. Almost all the lower branches have died off and now the upper branches are starting to die off as well

It’s the wrong time of year for a repot, but have you checked the roots? It could be that it’s getting too much water. Did it flower this spring? Is it in kanuma soil?

Hi Ali, please post some new phots of the whole tree plus close up of the dying leaves, the soil and underside of the leaves.

I did check the roots, and they seemed to be just fine, its planted in pure Kanuma, the only problem I have has is not being able to use rain water- however my smaller Azaleas have been just fine with the tap water. I have installed a rain water system, had a few problems with the drains but thats all fixed, so should be able to collect more rain water. It did start to flower, but I was advised to remove them as it will take unnecessary energy from an already weakened tree.

In regards to it being possibly overwaterd, the problem I have had is, its watered, my soil moisture reader (its accurate with my other trees) will show its moist but the leaves will be wilted as if they need water, once I water them they bounce back up, so its been a constant struggle with this tree.

Hi Keith, I will take some pictures as soon as I get indoors.

Hi Ali, did you not ask Peter Warren about it? When was it last repotted? It could be when you water not all the roots are getting some. A lot of people wait until after flowering to repot. You could at a push get away with it but you would need to give it extra care over the winter.
With regards to not using rain water that is quite a problem. What Ph is your tap water? You can acidify it using vinegar, but you need the initial Ph to know how much vinegar to add.
Do you suffer with vine weevils in your area (or other root eating grubs)?

Hi Keith, I did ask Peter in his Azalea stream, when I initially asked showed him he said its normal for Azaleas to drop leaves as such as they are semi deciduous. But the tree wasn’t as bad then, but alarm bells were ringing in my head. A few others said the same also.

When I showed him the second time, he did say it MAY be root related, but I did check the roots and they seemed fine to me, I could check it again and see if water is reaching all parts of the root ball.

I haven’t tested my Ph levels yet, I have a test kit on its way and will test it as soon as it arrives and will give you an update.

I have not come across any root eating grubs as of yet, or in any of my other repots.

My test kit arrives tomorrow so will have results by Thursday latest. I have seen some back budding on some of the branches. Fingers crossed it kicks back.

One other Satsuki Azalea expert recommended me to use riodimil, as he said it will fix any root issues, so its all trial and error right now.

In terms of winter care, I have a cold frame in which this tree will sit (if it survives this season).

I will update you with my water Ph results.

Really appreciate your help.