Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What's Causing Azalea Leaves to Yellow?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What's Causing Azalea Leaves to Yellow?

Article excerpt

Byline: BECKY WERN

THE LEAVES ON MY AZALEA ARE YELLOWING. WHAT WOULD CAUSE THAT?

There are several possibilities.

One is that the soil is simply too wet, which would be a logical problem this time of the year, and this wet year makes it fairly likely. See if you can divert runoff away from the plant.

It isn't uncommon at this time of the year for azaleas to lose some of their older leaves. If you find that some of the older leaves are yellowing, it's not really a problem.

Lastly, check the undersides of the leaves. If you find brown specks on the undersides, they are probably lacebugs. These insects are especially a problem for azaleas that are misplanted in the sun. Azaleas love shade and become stressed in full sun locations. The stress attracts the lacebugs. While you can use an insecticide to kill the insects, it's important to relocate your azalea to a shady site, even if it means giving it away!

THIS SUMMER I HAVE BEEN EATING BLACKBERRIES, AND I'M WONDERING IF WE CAN GROW THEM HERE.

Yes. In fact, given our relatively new awareness of the role of phytochemicals in colorful foods and our health, I wouldn't be surprised to find blackberries following the craze we've seen for blueberries.

Blackberries are more closely related to raspberries, with fewer hours of winter cold required, and few pests in the Southeast.

If you've spent any time walking in the woods, you've probably noticed wild blackberries. The cultivars available for growing here have larger fruits and much better flavor than the wild varieties.

Well drained soils and sunny sites are suggested for the best results. Plants are best planted between December and February. Drip irrigation will minimize weed problems and should be in place when the plants are put in the ground.

This is especially important, because fruit ripens in May and June, when we are often having dry weather.

Chickasaw, Ouachita and Kiowa are three varieties that will do very well here. Of these, Ouachita is thornless (no small matter for picking!)

These are all erect in growth habit and should not need cross pollination. …

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