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A beautiful azalea has appeared in your house. She pleases with bright and abundant flowering. But, despite careful care and attention, suddenly the azalea, or rhododendron, begins to lose its beautiful appearance. Leaves, stems or even buds turn yellow.
What is the reason for these changes? And how can you help the plant to recover? Our article will help you cure a beautiful plant and return it to its blooming appearance.
What is yellowing?
Reference: yellowing (chlorosis) is a change in the color of leaves or other parts of plants that occurs due to insufficient amounts of nutrients and mistakes in care.
Chlorosis disrupts the formation of chlorophyll in the leaves. This leads to a decrease in the activity of photosynthesis and disruption of the entire life of the plant.
What does it look like?
When leaves are affected, the color of the veins or areas between the veins changes. You need to pay special attention to these signs. They indicate a lack of various nutrients. We'll look at which ones later.
Withering and yellowing of flowers and buds is a very common problem for azalea lovers. Blooming flowers and buds dry up prematurely and fall off.
Danger to indoor plants
Discoloration is only a symptom. This leads not only to the unpresentable appearance of the azalea, but can also cause more serious consequences.
Leaves and buds are often the first to turn yellow. If the cause is not eliminated, the stems will begin to turn yellow and dry after the leaves. Further, this process will get to the roots. And this is a high probability of the death of the entire plant (is it always possible to save a dying azalea and how to revive the plant?).
The first step is to determine the cause of the yellowing and work comprehensively to improve the conditions for keeping the azalea.
Attention: the sooner azalea treatment is started, the easier the recovery process will be.
When is it natural and when is it a disease?
Natural yellowing can be seasonal, associated with the dormant period of the plant. When old leaves located at the bottom of the stems, or flowers, turn yellow, this is also natural. In this case, single leaves and faded inflorescences change color.
There are types of azaleas that shed their leaves immediately after flowering. Novice flower growers often get rid of such a plant, deciding that it has died. Do not rush to do this, specify the type of your particular flower.
Yellowing is painful if this process involves:
- Young leaves.
- A large number of leaves.
- Young flowers.
- If yellowing spreads quickly.
Why do parts of a rhododendron change color, dry out and fall off?
Changes in the color of plants, drying and falling leaves and other parts of the rhododendron indicate violations of temperature, lighting, watering or soil composition.
Lack of nutrients
How do you determine which element is missing from your azalea? To do this, you need to look at the nature of the changes. Have the young (upper) or old (lower) leaves turned yellow? Which part of the leaf has changed color: veins, or areas between them?
If turned yellow:
- Young leaves in the intervals between the veins, this indicates a lack of iron.
- Old leaves between the veins are a lack of magnesium and zinc.
- Veins of young leaves - the plant lacks sulfur.
- Veins of old leaves - lack of nitrogen.
Such negative changes can be caused both by a lack of one element, in azaleas it is most often iron, and an imbalance of elements. This happens when the lack of some nutrients is accompanied by an overabundance of others. This situation leads to a violation of the assimilation of elements.
Azalea feels best at low temperatures. Optimal conditions for rhododendron are from +13 to +20 degrees, regardless of the season. In fact, azalea can tolerate higher temperatures, but its buds are tied at temperatures from +8 to +18 degrees.
Important! Unsuitable air temperatures or sudden changes in temperature negatively affect the condition of the flower.
Humidity of soil and air
Azalea is very sensitive to watering deficiencies. The flower does not tolerate both stagnant water in the soil and an overdried earthen lump.
As for the air, the azalea does not tolerate dry air. This is the most common problem in city apartments, and it is from the dry air that this flower suffers most often.
Azalea will certainly react negatively to the abundance of sunlight and direct sunlight. After such exposure, the leaves will turn yellow, begin to dry and fall off (how to reanimate the azalea if it has dried up?).
In addition to all, the cause of the yellowing of the azalea can be damage to the scabbard. This insect looks like raised brown spots. Affected leaves fade, covered with a sticky, shiny bloom. Later they turn yellow and crumble.
With early detection of the scale insect, it will be enough to treat the leaves with soapy water. More serious damage requires the use of special drugs.
Read about pests and diseases of azaleas here.
What is most often affected?
- Leaves. Most often, azalea leaves become yellow. This can be caused by all of the above reasons. It is the leaves that are the first to signal the beginning problems.
Important: do not ignore the change in leaf color. Following the leaves, the disease will spread to other parts of the plant and can lead to its death.
- Stems. Yellowing of the stems is a secondary lesion. It follows a change in leaf color as the disease continues to progress.
- Buds and young flowers. This is a very common problem. The main reason in this case is dry and warm air.
What if the parts of the plant are yellow?
- Check the leaves for parasites. If you see insects, treat the plant with soapy water. If a significant part of the flower is affected, it is worth using chemicals.
- Remove the flower from the draft.
- Remove the flower from direct sunlight.
- Check the ambient temperature. During the heating season, place the flower away from the battery. If this is not possible, ventilate the room regularly. In the summer it is also worth putting it in the shade.
- Check soil moisture. If there is excess moisture, dry the earthen lump. If the soil is dry, water the plant and normalize watering later. Avoid drying out and waterlogging the soil, it should be slightly damp.
You can water the azalea by immersion once a week for 20-30 minutes. After such watering, excess water must be allowed to drain. Overhead watering or through a drip tray will also work.
- Watering should be done with softened water. This can be achieved through boiling or acidifying the water. To do this, add 3-5 drops of lemon juice or 5 grains of citric acid to the water.
- Humidify the air. Spray the leaves 1 to 2 times a day. A low pan with water and pebbles will also help, in which there will be a flower pot, or a humidifier located nearby.
- Feed the plant with complex fertilizers, according to the instructions on your preparation. This will help keep all trace elements in balance and save you the trouble of determining what your beauty is missing.
It happens that the flower abruptly drops all the leaves. This is due to drastic changes in conditions of detention:
- Azalea stood in the draft.
- The temperature has changed dramatically.
- You have moved the plant to a different location.
If your flower has dropped all the leaves, remember what changes have occurred in caring for her. Revert to the old conditions.
Attention: during the flowering period, the azalea is most capricious. At this time, do not rearrange the plant. Spray blooming azalea is also not worth it. Use other moisturizers during this time.
As we said, azalea stems do not turn yellow on their own. This happens after the color of the leaves has changed. Therefore, you need to do the same steps as when the leaves turn yellow. They are described in detail above.
- Reduce the air temperature.
- Humidify the air.
Azalea will feel great outdoors, in the shade, where direct sunlight does not fall. The favorable period for this is from spring, after the establishment of warm weather, until the beginning of the autumn cold weather. At this time, the plant can be taken out onto the balcony, or planted directly on the street.
Yellowing is not the only problem that can be encountered when growing azaleas. Read about why the edge and the inside of the leaves of the azalea turn black and why they fall off, and also why the azalea leaves grow very light and undergo other changes, and how to save the flower.
The most effective prevention will be the observance of favorable conditions for the azalea. Let's take another look at the requirements that this beauty makes to its owners.
- Air temperature from +13 to +20 degrees.
- High air humidity.
- Slightly moist soil.
- Watering with soft water.
- Feeding a flower with complex fertilizers.
- Lack of direct sunlight.
We offer you to watch a video about the proper care of azalea:
Yes, azalea is a very picky plant. And it will remind of itself at the slightest inconvenience. But by spending effort on its proper maintenance, you will help your azalea feel good and it will delight you with luxurious flowering.