En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 22, 2008

From: Mount Vernon, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems with azaleas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Last summer I planted 10 evergreen Azaleas "Hino Crimson" I sprinkled a little rhody fertilizer in their holes before planting and gave them plenty of water all summer. They are all doing fine except for 3 of them that have reddish leaves and are not blooming this spring, they don't look very healthy.

ANSWER:

Azaleas are considered woodland understory plants. They need acid soil, which is provided by the leaf drop of deciduous trees, especially pines. They can take full sun, but prefer some shade. Since most of your plants are thriving, we can assume that your soil is not the problem.

We found only one azalea native to Washington, the Rhododendron albiflorum (Cascade azalea). However, this really doesn't matter, since you mentioned a cultivar name for your plants. When a plant has been hybridized, you don't know the plants from which it came, and it is hard to make a diagnosis when there are problems. The original species of your "Hino Crimson" are natives of Kurume, Japan. The specific parents are cultivars of Rhododendron obtusum named "Amoenum" and "Hinade-giri". Since none of these plants is native to North America, we are not going to have any information on them in our Native Plant Database. The goal of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to promote, propagate and protect plants native to North America. However, we will try to help you find the problem. Go to this Clemson University Extension website Azalea and Rhododendron Pests and see if any of the symptoms ring a bell. Since the whole plant is doing poorly, and not blooming, we suspect it is a problem with the roots, either root borers or root rot. For more local information and help, contact your Skagit County Extension Service.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Information on non-native Leopard wort
February 10, 2009 - I'm looking for information on the herbaceous perennial, Leopard wort.
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native Mimosa in Topeka KS
April 18, 2010 - Read the Mimosa answer with much interest - other websites are love and hate this tree - we love ours - had one before that was multiple trunk and bought one from local nursery that seems to be single...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Maytens tree in Saratoga, CA
August 05, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My friend's Mayten tree (green spray)leaves are yellowing and we don't know if it is under-watered (surrounded by grass and fed with a time sprinkler for 20 min. maybe 2 or ...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of transporting native seeds to Europe
February 03, 2011 - Hi, Is it possible to bring seeds for North American plants and wildflowers from the USA to Europe? I live in Italy and have many Italian friends who want me to bring seeds from America the next time ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
March 15, 2010 - Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root s...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center