This bush did not flower this year; it is a mature bush and has flowered in the past. The leaves have spots.
Should I spray for insects or fungus? When is the right time for spraying these azaleas? I listen to your program almost every week.
Thanks, John C.
There are two issues. The Indica azaleas, like yours, did not bloom well in the north shore area north of Lake Pontchartrain this year. This was common all across the area, not just your azaleas. The problem was a late freeze in early March that killed the flower buds just as they were starting to swell. Disappointing, but the plants are fine.
The spots are one of the several leaf spots azaleas are prone to. Your bush has likely dealt with this before. This is not related to the lack of flowers, but is due to the excessively rainy weather since spring. Once the spots have formed, spraying with fungicides will not change anything, so spraying is rarely done. In other words, the disease has already occurred and spotted the leaves. Spraying now will not change this – the leaves will stay spotted. These diseases don’t generally hurt the bushes that much.
Consumer Horticulture Specialist
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture