Death of branches with split bark may not occur until weeks or months after the injury. On average, established azaleas require an inch of rainfall or irrigation per week during their active growing season. ), Clemson Cooperative Extension: Azalea & Rhododendron Diseases. caused by the fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. When crushed, these scales exude pink “blood”-like liquid. Bark and branches fall prey to this disease after fungi enter through natural openings or wounds. Spray with Thylate or Benomyl when blooms begin to open. ... Lichens can also live on the bark of perfectly healthy branches, but there, it usually stays put. They generally don't harm the plant they grow on, since they make their own food from sunlight, water and air. Be sure to clean your tools well. Sign up for our newsletter. Affected shrubs may be covered with sooty mold or appear as white, cottony masses within the forks of branches. However, azaleas are susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases including leaf spot and rust. As alien-looking and repulsive as azalea leaf galls are, they are not considered overly serious. Mildew, galls and leaf spots affect azalea foliage. On new growth and in heavy infestations, the scales may be distributed more uniformly on the branch (Figs. Treating Azalea Dieback. Signs of Azalea Dieback. Fungal leaf spot diseases can be caused by various pathogens, including Cercospora and Septoria species, and pepper leaves with unattractive stippling. Many people enjoy the color and patterns lichens create. Planting azaleas in a soil/bark mixture provides for good drainage and fungicides like Terrazole and Truban can be used to protect your azalea from phytophthora. Insufficient watering is the primary contributor to plant stress that encourages this disease. Roots of affected plants appear soggy or blackened, and the outer portion of the root easily pulls away from the inner portion. The spots are light to rusty-brown with a definite margin. Honeydew can … Varieties of deciduous azaleas, including plumleaf azalea, pinxterbloom azalea and swamp azalea, are … Eriococcus azaleae Discovered in 1881, the azalea bark scale, Eriococcus azaleas, is a prominent pest of rhododendron, azalea, and huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.). If your shrubs have tight growth, pruning out limbs to open plants increases air circulation. Lichens are composed of a fungus and an alga living together cooperatively. She is also a former mortgage acquisition specialist for Freddie Mac in Atlanta, GA. How to Cure Hydrangea Anthracnose Disease, Mississippi State University Extension Service: Azaleas for the Landscape, Penn State Extension: Azalea and Rhododendron Diseases, North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Azalea Diseases in the Landscape, University of California IPM Online: Flower Blight -- Ovulinia azaleae, University of California IPM Online: Azalea (Rhododendron spp. Remove old mulch and replace with new in early spring. And is it tied to the Spanish moss at all? If so, you have a fungus called powdery mildew. These insects may be seen on the lower surface of a leaf. Fungal blight diseases infect azalea flowers and are particularly problematic if you use overhead irrigation. As cankers girdle twigs or branches, they cut off nutrient transport and woody parts die. Botrytis blight, which is caused by the pathogen Botrytis cinerea, causes spotting or discoloration on flowers, rotten buds or buds that do not open. Petal Blight – This fungus only affects flowers and appears as pale or whitish spots on colored petals or rust-colored spots on white petals. Inappropriate watering can cause foliage to wilt, discolor, and drop. Rust – Rust is a fungal disease that causes reddish to orange spore masses on infected leaves, as well as galls or cankers on bark, which may occasionally kill the entire plant. Dark, sunken areas form around the openings and may spread laterally along stems. Cutting back infected branches to healthy wood may halt the spread of this disease, but you must also remove any dropped plant material below plants to prevent reinfection from fungal spores that remain on leaves and twigs. While there is currently nothing available to control nematodes on azaleas, with proper fertility and watering practices, the plants are better able to tolerate attacks. Adult females are felt-like white or gray encrustations that stick to crape myrtle parts ranging from small twigs to large trunks. Infested azaleas usually appear chlorotic, and severe infestation of azalea bark scale can weaken or kill your azaleas. University of California IPM Online: Azalea -- Rhododendron Spp. A wilted plant is usually the first sign of trouble. Close-up of Azalea bark scale egg masses on infested branches blackened by sooty mold. Both floral diseases are spread by splashing water that catapults fungal spores onto plants. Wood discoloration when peeling back bark of an infected stem. Quote. No. Up close, CMBS is white t… The leaves become curled, fleshy, and pale green to white. Powdery Mildew – This azalea disease appears as white powdery growth on the leaves and occurs most often during fall. Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Azalea and Rhododendron diseases. After studying botany and microbiology at Clemson University, Blackstone was hired as a University of Georgia Master Gardener Coordinator. 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