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How to Revive a Fading Azalea Plant

How to Revive a Fading Azalea Plant

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As a proud green thumb, I was very worried when I noticed my once vibrant and blooming azalea, well, dull and drooping.

I thought my beloved plant was dying, and so I started aggressively researching how to bring it back to life.

Luckily, I was able to revive my fading azalea plant, and I’m here today to help you do the same! 

First, make sure the plant is still alive by snapping a few branches and observing the color inside; green is what we’re hoping for!

You should then wash out excess salts and fertilizer from the soil, apply a gentle mulch, and adjust the humidity around your plant. 

Keep reading as I further explain these quick solutions and share a few other ways to help get your azalea back to its full glory!

Three Immediate Remedies

If you have an azalea plant that has seen better days, you need to take immediate action. Here’s how:

Drenching the Soil

If your azalea looks wilted, fill its container with salt-free water until the top. Let the liquid drain freely and repeat several times a day.

Drenching the plant’s soil with water removes any build-ups of salt and fertilizer that may have accumulated beneath the plant’s roots.


If your azalea is dying, applying a fertilizer such as fish emulsion will help revitalize the plant. Enrich the soil with a layer of compost over the root system.

Adjusting Humidity

Maintaining proper humidity levels around the plant is key to restoring its vitality. 

Keep the plant and the soil moist using mulch, stick to a regular watering schedule, and place a humidifier near the plant. If you don’t have a humidifier, put wet pebbles on a tray and place the plant’s pot on top of it.

If you don’t water and mulch azaleas during hot dry days, the leaves will scorch and the plant will begin to fade.

An Introduction to the Azalea

Red Azalea Flowers In Bloom

While the above solutions offer a quick fix, you should still learn all you can about caring for the plant. So let’s get to know the fascinating azalea!

A member of the genus Rhododendron, Azalea originates from the same genus as the rhododendron plant. 

However, the leaves of azaleas are smaller and more pointed, while Rhododendron leaves are larger and look more leathery.

Azaleas come in a variety of sizes; they may grow low to the ground or stand as tall as 25 feet!

These plants thrive both indoors and outdoors, so caring for them depends on where you place your azalea. 

Temperature doesn’t really matter as long as it doesn’t fall below freezing point. Keep in mind that you still have to provide shade in warmer climates. Water the plant regularly until lots of blossoms appear and the plant becomes established.

Additionally, be sure to keep the azalea plants out of the reach of pets or children as the blooms are poisonous. 

Care Guidelines

Whether your plant sits indoors or outdoors, the guidelines for azalea care are the same.

If you live in a warm climate, choose azaleas planted in larger three-gallon containers instead of smaller one-gallon pots.

Small azalea plants with a smaller root system struggle to receive water in higher temperatures.

Some Basic Tips

Below are some important azalea care tips to get you started!

Potted Azalea Near Water Sprayer

Plant Placement

Azaleas thrive in spots that are exposed to the morning sun but become shaded in the afternoon. 

Avoid planting or placing the plants in areas with direct sun or full shade.

Watering the Plant

The watering schedule of your plant depends on the climate. 

When azaleas grow in cooler climates or shaded areas, they should be watered a couple of times per month.

If the plant grows in a sunnier or warmer climate, water it once or twice a week. 

Azaleas are shallow-rooted plants, so moisture is crucial to their growth. However, you don’t want to leave your plant in soggy soil or you’ll risk root rot among other diseases.


Different azalea plants withstand different climates and temperatures. 

White azaleas, for example, can’t withstand temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, their blooms will wither and fall off. 

Some azalea plants, on the other hand, can survive in very cold weather. The Northern Light azalea group is a prime example, living in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The general temperature range for healthy azalea growth is between 30 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


Azalea plants love humid conditions. The minimum level for your plant to thrive is 40%. Avoid misting to prevent fungus from occurring in the flowers.

Soil PH

Azalea plants prefer acidic soil. An ideal PH range falls between 4.5 to 6.


While azalea blooms can source honey, you should never try eating it. It’s poisonous and commonly known as mad honey.

Dogs, cats, and people should never consume the plant’s nectar, stem, leaves, and flowers. While cases of extreme toxicity are rare, ingesting azalea can lead to life-threatening outcomes.

Azalea Pests

Here are the top pests to keep an eye out for:

Lace Bug On Leaf

Lace Bugs

Lace bugs are one of the most common pests that affect azalea. 

If your plant is infested with this insect, you’ll notice its foliage looking yellowish or white with black dots (these are actually eggs – Yikes!) on the bottom of the leaves.

Apply insecticidal soap during the late spring or autumn to control the problem. 

Bark Scale

When bark scale bugs are present, the plant appears to be covered in a soot-like mold.

To resolve this, you need to cut off the affected parts and apply horticultural oil spray to the whole plant.

Getting Rid of Leafminers

Leafminers cause yellow lines and brown spots on the upper or lower sides of the leaves.

To combat this problem, remove the affected site and apply horticultural oil in a diluted spray.

Protecting the Plant Against Frostbite

Because azaleas are hardy plants, they often are planted in cold climates. 

As a result, they may suffer damage from frost that can cause the plant to wither and die.

To prevent such a scenario, always cover azalea shrubs with burlap or a sheet if the weather forecast warns of below-freezing temperatures.

Azaleas are also vulnerable to fungal diseases such as leaf gall, petal blight, and rust. 

To avoid this problem, spray the plant with a fungicide during the late spring and continue doing so every two weeks until mid-June.

If the plant becomes infected, prune away the fungus and immediately chop off the diseased branches or leaves.

Common Azalea Concerns for Care

Here are some additional azalea care aspects to keep in mind:

Potted Pink Azalea Near Window


Most azaleas do best when they receive the morning sunlight combined with afternoon shade.

That said, don’t expose your azalea to more than four to six hours of direct sunlight each day.


One of the most beneficial materials to add to the soil of azalea plants is coffee grounds. They raise the acidity of the soil and provide more nutrients to this acid-loving plant.

Growing Back

Azaleas can grow back each year as long as you prune them before the middle of summer. 

Encore azaleas will grow back yearly during the spring and fall regardless of pruning.


To revive an azalea, prune branches by thirds or halves. Shape the plant with the remaining branches.

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, there’s a lot to learn about the azaleas to revive your plant and ensure healthy growth. Be sure to properly diagnose the cause of your problem and apply proper care techniques to help your azalea thrive.

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Sunday 17th of July 2022

What can you do for the reverse? I have a mini azalea on my desk and the weird thing is, I accidentally overwatered it, but instead of wilting, the plant itself is drying up.


Friday 22nd of July 2022

Hi Jeanne, Overwatering can lead to a whole list of symptoms, including browning leaves and leaf drop. Here are some tips on how to save an overwatered plant:

Happy Planting! Lisa

Rae Rowley

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

My azaleas are losing all their leaves but they are not dry it out and are not yellow green leaves just dropping off everywhere it is planet in the house what can I do please help


Monday 21st of March 2022

Hello, my azelias are drying up, I went to prune them but the stems are dry and brittle. What can I do?

Lyn Rust

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

My azalea leaves have turned brown & looks terrible. Just 1 week ago was fine. Some bug maybe? I've sprayed with neem oil & watered soil conditioner. Is it too late to prune it. Help Thank you Lyn


Tuesday 15th of March 2022

Hi Lyn, You should still be able to prune them. Best of luck!

Happy Planting! Lisa

Maggie Madden

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

I have two standard azaleas in Hampton tubs they are opposite each other one has flowered and green leaves , the other is next to a rose bush and it has lost all it leaves but before the leaves fell off they were brown on their tips. The flowers were brownish and now all the flowers and leaves have falled off. I have sprayed my roses for aphids but I m not sure if the aphids were on my azalea . I don't know what to do. can anyone please assist me.

Thankyou Maggie