Azalea Leaves Are Turning Red (Everything You Need To Know)

Heading towards fall and your Azalea leaves start looking reddish? Sometimes despite our best effort, they change colors. Mostly it turns red. 

So, why do you think your azalea leaves turning red?

When older Azalea leaves are about to die, they look red. But Azalea leaves also turn red when they’re stressed. They produce Anthocyanin because of environmental reasons like fungus attack, too much sunlight, etc. Moreover, it can happen due to over or underwatering or spider mites.

Knowing what caused these leaves turning red wouldn’t be enough. You have to know how to fix this. Hence, we’ve discussed the reasons and the solutions for you. So let’s get started-

Azalea Leaves Turning Red (Reasons and Solutions)

azalea leaves turning red

Here are some probable reasons why Azalea leaves are turning red. But don’t worry we provided solutions too. You will know how to take care of your plant. 

1. Stress 

Anthocyanins are produced by plants when they’re stressed for any cause. Anthocyanins are red or purple pigments that protect plants against harm in a variety of ways.

For example, Anthocyanins protect the leaves from UV rays. Also improves photosynthesis when needed. 

Plants are protected by anthocyanins from cold temperatures, predators, and very acidic or alkaline soils.


Avoid putting too much pressure on your plant. Make sure the temperature does not routinely exceed 85°F (29°C).

Maintain your plant in acidic, moist, well-draining soil with lots of bright and direct light. But the sunlight should be indirect and constrained. 

2. Leaf Spot Disease

Red, yellow, or brown patches on your plant’s leaves might result from fungal and bacterial infections. It can cause your leaves to give a red hue.

The organisms that cause these issues vary. Usually, these can be of Phytophthora species

Also, poor watering practices or severe rain exposure are frequently the culprits. During heavy rain or carelessly watering plants, bacteria-infested water splashes onto a plant’s leaves. 


Fungicides can be used to treat some fungal leaf spot infections. But bacterial leaf spots are quite hard to treat after they’ve established themselves. It’s always preferable to avoid sickness than to try to treat it.

The easiest method to keep your Azaleas disease-free is to remove any fallen leaves and debris. That’s where spores and bacteria are waiting for an opportunity to attack.

Avoid getting water on the plant’s leaves and stem at all costs. Protect the plant from severe rain. Watering the plant from below is ideal. 

3. Lack of Nutrients 

Azalea plants require a variety of minerals to thrive. It includes phosphorus, nitrogen, magnesium, and iron. If these nutrients are insufficient, the plant will become red around the edges. 

When growing Azaleas, keep in mind that they require acidic soil to absorb nutrients well.


The majority of nutrient deficits are easily remedied. Determining which nutrient your plant is lacking might be tricky. One alternative is to get your soil analyzed in a laboratory. 

Even if the soil is rich in minerals, the plant won’t be able to absorb them properly. Because Azaleas need acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5.

A potting mix with acidic pH developed particularly for acid-loving plants is recommended. Here are the fertilizers we recommend for your plant: 

This will guarantee that your plant can absorb the nutrients it requires. Thus you won’t have to do anything other than feeding it once a year in the spring.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and avoid overfeeding your plant. Since this can burn the roots and cause further issues.

To decrease the pH, a modest application of ferrous sulfate might be used to acidify your plant. Aluminum sulfate is harmful to Azaleas, therefore don’t use it

Here are some of our suggestions for ferrous sulfate. You won’t have to search somewhere else to get these anymore-

4. Improper Amount of Sunlight

The plant burning for an hour every day is an example of the solar burn not being too severe.  In this case, the leaves will get dark red before drying out and becoming brown.

The plant generates anthocyanins. It gives the leaves their red color. If the sunburn is acute for a long time, the leaves won’t survive. 

Azaleas don’t do well in deep shade either, despite their preference for a shaded location. When they don’t get enough light, they generate anthocyanins again. 


Keep your Azalea in a spot so they get bright but indirect light for 8-10 hours. In case of providing direct sunshine, make sure it’s at least a few feet away from the window.

5. Under or Over Watering

Azaleas like soil that is continuously wet and drains well. The plant will get stressed if the soil is excessively moist or too dry. The leaves will become red owing to the formation of anthocyanins. 

In either scenario, the plant leaves become weak or curled that die off over time. If you see these indications, don’t instinctively water your plant. You’ll just make the situation worse!

Because it can’t absorb anything including water. While its roots are covered by water, a waterlogged plant might become dehydrated.


When the top few inches of compost are fully dry, water your Azalea. Always check with your finger or a moisture meter before watering your plant. If it doesn’t need the water, avoid overwatering. 

6. Spider Mites

When spider mites feast on Azalea leaves, they suck moisture and nutrients out of the leaves. Lack of nutrients is a reason the leaves turn red. 


Spider mites can be effectively controlled. Spray insecticidal soap on the top and bottom of azalea leaves. Another topical treatment that can kill spider mites is horticultural oil.

Here are our recommended soaps for your leaves. Use them without any doubts-

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: When Are Azaleas Usually Fertilized?

Answer: They’re fertilized in the Spring after the flowering

Question: Is Epsom Salt Good for Azalea? 

Answer: It’s recommended to add a spoon of Epsom salt to the hold before you lower the Azalea

Question: How often should I water my Azalea?

Answer: When the soil starts drying out, only water then. 


Azalea Leaves Are Turning Red can be a matter of concern. But by following our guide and tips for taking care of them, you can relax. 

With that, we’ve come to the end of our discussion about plants today. Good luck with growing and taking care of your Azalea!

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