Azaleas (Rhododendrom periclymenoides) are part of the Rhododendron family. The shrub produces one flower per branch during the blooming season. Flower colors are white, pink and purple. These plants grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. According to the Azalea Society of America, azaleas prefer well-drained, moist, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 6.0. The average shrub height is 3 to 6 feet with a width of 4 to 7 feet. Gardeners use azaleas in pots, borders and flowering privacy hedges.
Raised beds offer a solution for azalea root rot. Roots exposed to excessive, or continuous moisture are prone to this growing problem. Plant Pathology at NCSU recommends adding mulch made with pine bark instead of peat or saw dust for better drainage. Mulch should be placed a minimum of 6 inches deep, even for newly transplanted azaleas.
Spread of azalea root rot is common through planting containers and plant liners. The Alabama Cooperative Extension recommends disinfecting all containers, planting pallets and wooden items with a 2-percent-copper-napthenate solution to prevent contamination to new azalea plants. They also recommend cleaning gardening equipment frequently with rubbing alcohol, particularly when gathering cuttings for propagation.
Horticulturists agree that fungicides have limited success in curing or controlling Azalea root rot. The use of fungicides in the planting medium, however, can help retard the spread of the disease. The Alabama Cooperative Extension recommends treating cuttings for propagation with a mild fungicide solution after the first roots appear. They do warn that fungicides can hinder the growth rate of azalea cuttings.