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Indoor Azalea is Losing Leaves

Updated March 23, 2017

Members of the Rhododendron genus, azaleas are frequently confused with rhododendron shrubs. To tell them apart, count the stamens. Azaleas have five or six stamens, while rhododendrons have 10. Azaleas can be either deciduous or evergreen. If yours is deciduous, it will naturally lose leaves in the fall. But there are other reasons why an indoor azalea might lose leaves.

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The most common cause of leaf drop on an indoor azalea is either over-watering or under-watering. Too much or too frequent watering can cause root rot.


Remove the azalea from the pot. If the roots are mushy, the plant has root rot and should be treated with a fungicide drench. Water the azalea only when a finger inserted 1/2 inch into the soil comes out dry.


Some evergreen azalea varieties can also drop leaves. They grow two sets during the season and shed one in the fall.

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About the Author

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at,,, RE/,,, and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.

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