Azalea drops leaves: how to treat a plant?
Azalea is a beautiful, decorative-flowering plant, which is referred to as finicky, as shedding of leaves becomes a frequent problem. Consider why azalea drops leaves, and how to solve this problem.
Azalea Care Rules
Proper care of azalea is the basis of a healthy appearance of the plant with the preservation of decorative qualities and long plentiful flowering.
The existence of a flower directly depends on environmental conditions, so the azalea pot is placed on well-lit windows, on the east or west side of the house, or on the south, shaded by direct sunlight.
In the autumn, during the daylight hours, it is recommended to install an additional light source in the form of a fluorescent lamp near the pot, which should be turned on when it gets dark outside. Azalea is a cold-resistant plant and does not tolerate stable high temperature in the room.
The optimum temperature regime is + 15 ... + 18 ° C during the period of shoot growth, during the formation of buds and flowering, it is better to maintain a lower temperature - + 10 ... + 12 ° C. In summer, it is especially difficult to maintain the desired indoor temperature, so if possible, place the pot in an air-conditioned room.
The soil in the pot should be slightly moist, so it should be watered regularly: in summer - every day, in winter - depending on the air temperature and speed of soil drying - 2–4 times a week.
Important! Water that accumulates in a pan under the pot must be poured out to avoid root decay.
Pour azalea with clean water at room temperature. If tap water is used for irrigation, it is pre-settled for about 2 days.
The plant is provided with increased humidity by spraying regularly. This should only be done on azalea leaves, as if water gets on the buds, the petals can blacken or discolor.
To create the necessary humidity in the room, you can use a tank filled with water or wet expanded clay, installed next to the plant. In winter, air humidity decreases to critical values due to the heating turned on, so spraying is carried out 2-3 times a day.
The quality and duration of flowering can be stimulated by fertilizing. Mineral fertilizer complexes marked “For Azaleas”, which are sold in specialized stores, are suitable for flowers.
Important! Depending on the manufacturer and type of fertilizer, the dosage and preparation may differ, so read the instructions carefully before use.
The first time to transplant a plant in a new soil is necessary after the azalea has faded. The transplantation is carried out by the transshipment method, while maintaining the integrity of the earthen coma, since the roots are prone to breaking off. The pot is used 2-3 cm in diameter larger than the previous one.
To give a spherical shape, the azalea bush is cut and pinched elongated shoots. It is necessary to cut off the coarse thick shoots, and to pinch off the young tops in order to slow down the growth of the shoot in length. For pruning, use secateurs or sharp scissors. Also, wilted buds or dry leaves should be removed in a timely manner.
Why do azaleas dry and fall leaves: the main reasons
Azaleas often dry and fall leaves, which leads to complete or partial exposure of the shoots. There may be several reasons for this, so we will consider each in more detail.
It will also be useful for you to find out how to properly propagate and care for azalea at home.
The main reason for the development of indoor flower growing problems.
Azalea is a demanding plant, so any deviations from the recommendations for care entail unpleasant consequences:
- If you rarely water the flower - the leaves dry and fall off. The same problem occurs with excessive watering, when the root system dies from rot, the stems are exposed and dry.
- Problems with leaves can occur with low humidity - they begin to turn yellow and fall off, exposing the shoots over time.
- The absence of top dressing causes leaf shedding when the plant does not have enough substances to feed the leaf plates. Often a problem arises when soil is depleted or irregular transplants into a new soil rich in minerals. Also, the long absence of transplants and the active development of the root system, which becomes crowded in a small pot, can provoke the shedding of not only buds or the absence of flowering, and in especially neglected cases, shedding of leaves.
Often occurs after transplantation, although it is carried out by the transhipment method, some azalea roots may suffer. Often, a flower responds to an improper transplant into new soil by shedding leaves, and if measures are not taken in time, the plant will begin to dry and will soon die.
Sometimes stress in azaleas arises from direct sunlight on the leaves of the plant, which can get burns, change color and fall off. With the regular movement of the flower from one place to another, sudden changes in temperature, the flower also gives in to stress and can lose leaves.
Azalea can signal about improper conditions of content by dropping leaves. This concerns the inconsistency of temperature standards, since the plant does not tolerate the increased temperature in the room. With an increase in indoor temperature in winter, the humidity level drops, which also harms the development of azalea.
At temperatures up to + 5 ° C, the plant begins to hurt and, probably, will soon begin to drop leaves, if you do not restore comfortable temperature indicators in the room.
Did you know? The life expectancy of a flower at home is 5-6 years, some specimens are able to survive up to 10 years, but only if the ideal microclimate is created in the room.
Lighting is another factor that affects the condition of the leafy part: buds fall from poor lighting, shoots are drawn out. If the plant at this time is not moved to a well-lit window sill, the leaves will begin to fall off and the azalea will die. Sometimes regular drafts can also cause bare shoots.
Transplant during flowering
During the budding or flowering of azaleas, a transplant will necessarily provoke a drop of flowers and can cause a drop of plant leaves.
If a transplant is necessary (if there is a suspicion of a root system disease, root damage by pests, severe waterlogging of the soil with the appearance of traces of mold on the surface), the procedure is carried out carefully, manually removing most of the buds and flowers.
If you do not remove the buds before transplanting, all the stocks of nutrients and plant strength will be spent on maintaining the flowers, and the root system in the new soil is likely to take root poorly, which can lead to dropping leaves or death of the flower.
Yellowing, drying, twisting, falling of azalea leaves can cause damage to plants by pests, which include:
- rhododendron bug - a winged insect up to 3.5 mm in size, which, settling on leaf plates, lays eggs, enveloping them with sticky secretions. Larvae in the process of development feed on leaf juice, which becomes the reason for their drying;
- scab - a small insect that manifests itself in the form of numerous small brown bulges on the back of leaf plates and feeds on plant sap;
- rhododendron fly - a small insect with wings that settles on the plant and completely affects the green part, sucking out the juices, because of which the stems are exposed, and soon the flower dies;
- whitefly - a butterfly that feeds on the sap of the plant, which causes yellowing and drying of leaves and shoots;
- spider mite - a small insect that settles on the back of the leaves and feeds on the sap of the plant. It is difficult to detect a small pest, usually pay attention to the presence of a thin web on the leaves.
What to do depending on the reason?
Depending on the cause of drying and falling of the leaves, appropriate measures are taken, therefore, we will consider what needs to be done and whether it is possible to save the flower from death:
- If the cause of the development of problems is improper care, the main errors should be identified and corrected, taking into account the recommendations for care. With regular excessive watering, which led to rotting of the root system, the plant should be transplanted into new soil and the rotted roots removed, sprinkled with a crushed activated carbon. When transplanting with partial removal of the root system, there is a possibility of plant death, since azalea does not tolerate root injury. A forced measure in the form of a transplant is necessary to save the plant from rot, which will eventually destroy it (the roots will rot first, then the ground part will also dry out).
- If the plant has suffered from improper conditions, it is necessary to change the location of the pot, in accordance with the recommendations for the placement of azaleas. Affected parts or leaves (e.g. burnt leaves) are removed.
- When the azalea has suffered from stress, and all or almost all of the leaves have already fallen, you need to put on a transparent plastic bag on the pot and fix it with an elastic band from below. Such conditions will create moisture, which will stimulate the growth of new sheets. Watering for the recovery period is suspended because the soil does not dry under the package. The package is removed after new leaves appear on the shoots.
- If the azalea actively takes off the leaves after transplanting during flowering, the plant is placed under a transparent plastic bag to restore the leafy part. At this time, the soil is not watered. When new buds appear, the flower is freed from polyethylene.
- Pest damage to azalea requires taking measures to eradicate them: from the rhododendron bug, they treat it with Decis, from the scutellum with Fitoverm, from the rhododendron fly with spraying a solution of nicotine sulfate, from whitefly with Aktara, and from a spider mite with Actellik. All drugs are used according to the instructions, observing the dosage when preparing solutions.
Did you know? Azalea is able to purify indoor air from harmful impurities, and the smell of its flowers does not tolerate moths, so plants are considered useful representatives of the flora.
To avoid drying and falling of azalea leaves, it is recommended to carry out preventive measures in the form of:
- regular application of mineral fertilizers;
- watering the plant with water at room temperature;
- use only soft, high-quality water for irrigation;
- use for transplantation of acidic soil;
- prevent temperature drops and overheating of the plant;
- prevent air dryness through regular spraying;
- placing the pot on the windowsills with a slight shadow;
- timely processing of the flower from pests and diseases;
- disinfection of tools for trimming shoots or roots;
- regular indoor cleaning and airing;
- timely removal of diseased, dry shoots and buds.