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Azalea leaf and flower gall

Gardening is full of daily surprises. In the words of Roseanne Rosannadanna, aka the late, brilliant Gilda Radner, “It just goes to show. It’s always something. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.” Some gardening surprises are pleasant; others make you wish you hadn’t examined that one plant so closely.

Last week, I stopped to look at two mid-sized azaleas growing near the garage, one well filled out and heavy with magenta blossoms, the other lush and green, but flowering sparsely this spring. As I examined the second azalea, I noticed several leaves deformed by fleshy, waxy-appearing, apple-green growths. A few swellings were brown and dry, while others were white, with a fuzzy texture.

I recognized the growths as leaf galls, and anxious to prevent the spread of disease to our other azaleas, immediately removed the growths and examined the neighboring shrub and the ones on the other side of our drive. No other azaleas appeared to be affected.

Azalea leaf and flower gall is ...

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