How To Prune Evergreen Azaleas

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This article will teach you how to prune evergreen Azaleas.
by Brett · Zone 5A · -20° to -15° F to Zone 10B · 35° to 40° F · Pruning · 0 Comments · August 29, 2010 · 10,501 views

Evergreen azaleas do not require pruning. However, a yearly pruning can be performed to control the size of the plant and keep the plant tidy. How you will prune your azaleas will depend on the type, size and age of the plant. Timing is important too. If you prune your azaleas at the wrong time, you might remove all their buds! No buds, no blooms. So here's some general azalea pruning tips:

CAUTION: Encore Azaleas require a different method for pruning. Search "Encore"

Pruning Young Azaleas

Pruning of younger azaleas (typically 1 to 10 years of age) is best performed right after they stop blooming and the flowers have faded in Spring. Use hand pruners to cut back the few branches that might have outgrown the rest and are spoiling the shape of the plant. Make cuts a couple inches or so above the dense form of the plant. New branches will form beneath where you make your cuts. Also remove dead or broken branches.

Rejuvination Pruning of Azaleas

If your older, mature azaleas have become spindly or overgrown, rejuvination pruning may be necessary. Azaleas are one of the many plants that respond beautifully to heavy rejuvenation pruning. The best time to perform rejuvination pruning is right before your plants would ordinarily flush out with new growth in the spring.

The correct method for rejuvenation pruning is very straight forward. The plant in question should be pruned to 6" stumps or less. This is the only way to remove all of the old wood and provide the plant with one hundred percent juvenile wood loaded with leaf buds. In a very few short weeks of spring you will be utterly amazed at the new growth. After this procedure, rather than allow the plant to again become spindly, it would be wise to keep your azalea full by pruning a portion of the branches back every few years, thereby forcing foliage to emerge lower on the plant.

NOTE: DO NOT fertilize the plant after rejuvination pruning. Wait until early fall or the next spring.

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