Pruning, rounding question for hybrids

Bartlett, TN(Zone 7b)

Last year I was given 4 new Encore azaleas - Autumn Embers Hybrid. They were not very happy when I got them from lack of water and care. I kept them pretty wet for the first few days then planted with a bush/shrub fertilizer and they turned out really pretty with the exception of being a bit odd shaped.
The question is, since they have been planted since early last summer can I prune them to fix their shape? I'd like to keep them kind of small and rounded.

Thumbnail by 2racingboys
Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Encore Azaleas bloom on old wood so it is best to prune after flowering has ended this Spring. Otherwise, you will not get blooms in Spring (April). If that is not a problem with you then go ahead with pruning now.

Regardless of whether you prune now or not, you will get another second bloom period later on and perhaps even a 3rd one in the Fall. The number of blooming periods depends on the local weather. Since the plant has not had a chance to become established yet, do not be concerned about bloomage and the number of blooming periods during the first year or two.

Embers will eventually reach a mature height of 3' and width of 4' in about 10 years. You may to move around some of the plants in the picture as a result. Of course, you will have time to do in future years too since it is not a fast grower. Keep the soil moist (not wet) and keep the plant well mulched with 3-4" of any kind of acidic mulch, including pine needles.

Bartlett, TN(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the info. A funny thing to me is that these azaleas have bloomed all year - they never stopped until last month. I guess that is a good thing, just confusing as to when to prune. I personally don't care when they bloom, I just didn't want to mess up their process.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

I understand. Ditto here. My Encore Amethyst still has a few small remains of flowers from December. It surprised me that they lasted this long compared to other years.

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