Any idea what could be going on with my azaleas and knockout rose bush

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My azaleas are leggy. Not sure if I have a pest problem or if they aren't getting enough water or too much? We've had a lot of rain lately so I haven't been watering. I live in zone 9b. My azaleas and knockout were planted in March. Here are some pictures.
any idea what could be going on with my azaleas and knockout rose bush, gardening
any idea what could be going on with my azaleas and knockout rose bush, gardening
  12 answers
  • This is the first year and plants normally do not do a whole lot in the first year so I would not jump to any conclusions yet. The second year plants wake up and sometimes start a bit of growth and by the 3rd year will start growing. The knockouts need a year or so to take off and they need to decide if they like a spot. After the azaleas bloom next spring trim them up to shape a bit but otherwise they look okay from the pics. The knockouts seem to have new growth so that is a good sign. Just check for moles/voles around the roots and make sure the plant is solid in the ground. I had voles eat the roots clean off one of my knockouts but managed to save it. Happy gardening.

  • Ashley Sentilles Ashley Sentilles on Sep 11, 2013
    I didn't take into account that they are still young. I will check for voles though. Thanks!

  • How deep is that mulch? You can get it too deep.

  • Ashley Sentilles Ashley Sentilles on Sep 11, 2013
    It is pretty thick. Not sure how many bags per cubic feet were used. Maybe an inch. When the landscapers first put the garden down, they said they'd pack a lot of mulch down to slow down weeds. Someone had told me that some varieties of azaleas can be leggy by nature. This is Red Ruffle. Not sure if this is true of this variety. I am also having problems with Japanese boxwoods. The lady at the nursery said it was a fungus. At first, I suspected the fungus had spread.

    • @Ashley Sentilles I do mulch about 4" thick and little less right at the base of any plant. Yes, some Azaleas do look leggy but the first couple years of newly planted shrubs and trees is not a good measure to how they will look. Knockouts are disease resistant (for the most part) and will grow vigorously once they are established. If you have a fungus, have you sprayed yet?

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 12, 2013
    Everything looks like it is planted deep to me. Are those azaleas in full sun? That's pretty hard on them as far south as you are, and berming them up like that would I think make them more prone to drying out.

  • Joan Santa Cruz Joan Santa Cruz on Sep 13, 2013
    Another tip - After they bloom next spring, prune the long shoots. This will cause them to branch out, creating a fuller plant. Azaleas are very hardy and should do well for you.

  • Ashley Sentilles Ashley Sentilles on Sep 13, 2013
    Yes I have been using a fungicide on the boxwoods. It seems to be helping somewhat. The azaleas are in full sun. I would like to plant 2 crape myrtles, which would eventually create some shade

  • April E April E on Sep 13, 2013
    azaleas are shade shrubs they need shade in the afternoon at least and not to wait for another plant to grow to give them shade

  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on Sep 13, 2013
    They also like the crown of the roots to set just a little high so you might pull the mulch away from the crown

  • CynK CynK on Sep 15, 2013
    Cut them down and apply 10-10-10 next spring.

  • Julie Johnson Julie Johnson on Sep 16, 2013
    Azaleas prefer a neutral to acid soil .. do you know what your pH is? if its alkaline then they could be nutrient starved, so use a good feed for acid loving plants... Also Azaleas prefer to grow in dappled shade, are you growing in full sun? If so they will never thrive and you should consider moving them .. hope this helps

  • A1z1581958 A1z1581958 on Jun 25, 2015
    You might like to try pruning them occasionally. I prune mine regularly and apply seaweed solution and fertiliser regularly and they have become quite bushy and healthy with large blooms. I also try to get rid of any pest affected leaves before they affect the new shoots and give them a pest spray after that.