Pruning Azaleas

Montgomery, AL(Zone 8a)

Hi There Everyone! I am so glad to have found with website. Totally a savior for me due to the fact that this gardening thing, while I am enjoying it, it quite overwhelming! LOL! Anyway, here is my question...
When can I prune my azaleas? I have about 20 on my property that I purchased last August and they have grown quite large. All are about up to my shoulders. They just finished blooming about 5 days ago and all the flowers are turning brown and falling off. I need to get them under control. I can't see anything past them. Someone mentioned that I could prune them after the finish flowering...is this correct and if so that would be now, correct? How much can I take off with messing up the flowers for next year? See, I am new to this. I think I bit off more than I can chew with this property, but it so beaituful in the spring!
Sincerely,
Gail

This message was edited Apr 10, 2006 2:51 PM

Thumbnail by gailgalex
Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

http://www2.yardiac.com/long.asp?item_id=416

hope this helps. has good info re: azalea pruning, mulching, etc.

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Like the link said "prune after the bloom"in may or june.I vote for may,because the bloom needs to complete itself,and you need to shape them early.What I have always done for best results is,take out the largest branches to the ground,and shape the rest to suit the situation.It helps me to remember that the reason to prune is "the plant is too big for where it is".What ever you decide,don't become a "hedge clipper adict" Mike

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Gail,

I have the same situation as you. I bought my house in September - too late to prune, although I was forced to take some branches off because they were so high. I have always read that you should not prune after July 4. By that time, the azaleas should begin to work toward the next year's blooms. I would wait a couple of weeks after everything has finished blooming, just in case, and then begin to prune.

I also read or heard somewhere that you should not prune shrub's lower than one third of their original height. Do be sure to prune each one individually, and not as a hedge. The hedge is not as attractive.

My azaleas are just beginning to bloom. They should be in full bloom next week. I am SOOO looking forward to pruning!!!

Montgomery, AL(Zone 8a)

Vossner, thanks for the helpful link. I have bookmarked the website for future use.

Mike, I will do as you suggest and wait until May to prune. I have waited this long and another month will not really make a difference as I have much cleaning and such to do on my property. I will also not become an "addict"! LOL! I like the look of a natural growing garden and believe I might not take enough off and have to wait until next year to fix what I messed up this year! LOL! Thanks for the great advice.

Pennefeather, thank you as well for your advice. I will definately wait until May to prune and will not take more than 1/3 of them off. I also agree with you as far an pruning individually. I don't do hedges justice anyway! LOL! I would love to see photos of your azaleas once they are in full bloom. Please share them with us!

Have a wonderful day everyone!
:) Gail

Winnetka, IL

Pennefeather-
I think the 1/3 rule has exceptions; my 'Karen' got shorn almost to the ground by cicadas this summer, and within a few days was budding from the base up! Maybe I'm just lucky..... about 'Karen' surviving, that is. I hate those stupid cicadas.

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Plantaholic,

I'm thinking about wacking a couple of feet off of all my azaleas after they bloom this year. I can't believe how much they grow in one year. It think that it would be worth it to have them look sad for a few weeks if I can get rid of some of the height.

Winnetka, IL

Oooooh goodie! Be sure to post before and afters!

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