Problem or normal?


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Info: I live in the UK (N.I.) in a town house with a small L-shaped, South facing back yard which gets 3-7 hours sun on a good day. I have severe hand arthritis so have had to downsize most plants/shrubs etc into bonsai, but still have a few. Most are fed with Green Dream or similar feed, incl container shrubs, plus seaweed feed intermittently.

This little azalea has done quite well since I bought it last year but when it fell out of the pot 3 days ago (thanks to a pigeon knocking it off the shelf it was on!) I found that its root growth wasn't quite as good as I'd have expected in a year since repotting. But my main concern currently is with leaves that are going dark brown at the tips before yellowing and falling off. Now I appreciate leaves will drop off deciduous azaleas from this month onwards, but seems a bit early to me, as usually they put on a lot of new growth around now.

It flowered well back in May and I dead headed a good lot last month after flowering to conserve some energy so as it's a rather unusual colour of flower I'm keen to ensure I don't miss possible problems by making assumptions that this is normal leaf loss.

So just needing reassurance or suggestions what to do if need be.
 

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That sure doesn’t look good to me. Right now Azaleas should be at their peak of health and not be dropping leaves. I am attaching a picture of my Azalea taken today. I am training this as a pre-bonsai. After the flowers wilted I defoliate it and cut much of it back. You can see how green and healthy the leaves are. Hopefully one of our flower experts will jump in with a diagnosis.

A38A48BF-8EE4-492D-BEBD-CB89B1D860C2.jpeg
 
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Pot is too small in the sense of breathing? Over heating roots? They have a root capable of finding its way about rocks and generally being robust. I would almost bet the topside has become larger in need than the bottom side is able to deliver. Ours grow quite large, though I know there are many types.
 
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Yeh - that's my worry too - I didn't want to prune it back as it's already a bit late I'd imagine & I'd really like to see it flower again. Wondering whether I could risk repotting it into a grit mix as almost all my bonsai are in that and do well, but reluctant to do much until I know for sure whether it would cope etc. Hopefully as you say, someone else might help confirm it. Thanks.
 

Meadowlark

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If it were mine, I would re pot into a larger pot with fresh soil added...the grit mix would work as long as acidic.
 
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Repotting while a plant is stressed is not a good idea. Unless it is the soil / pot that is causing the problem. The only organic material in my soil is about 20% Pine Bark. The rest is diatomaceous earth, lava rock and perlite. This requires a strict watering regimen but the Azaleas grow like weeds.
 

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