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I just noticed apparently all azalea leaves are brown , it is the second day above freezing in Zone 8 , E TX. No doubt there will be no flowers on azaleas this spring . But what are chances of the bushes surviving the global warming freeze ? Azaleas are endemic here , most towns have something like an "azalea trail" ,or parade ,or week . but not this year. The flower buds form in July , nothing to see but you can feel the swellings on branch tips, so they need to survive the winter . My front yard is about 60% azalea bushes , what are chances the bushes will survive ?

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Browning leaves are a good sign. With the leaves non-functional there is less chance that the soil will freeze; it is the roots being deprived of moisture when there are still active green leaves losing moisture that will dry out the woody parts of the plant. If possible, increase the amount of snow over and around the fragile plants (for example by directing snow blower output chute in the right direction); increasing the depth of the snow blanket may allow buds to survive higher on the bush and minimize the amount of pruning to be done in Spring.

In the long run the landscape repairs itself. In a few years all will return to normal and the big freeze will be a distant memory. That's what happened here when we had the ice storm in 1998. If you look very hard into the trees you can still see the damage, but you have to really know what you are looking for. The memory of cracking branches like pistol shots stays with us.

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  • Many are showing some blooms on Mar 24. One bush ( a macrantha ) has 90 % bloom , some bushes show no sign of life. I guess the total bloom is about 20% of normal . – blacksmith37 Mar 24 at 15:35

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