Answer: Azaleas with foliage only on the top third tend to be that way due to excessive shade rather than lack of pruning, so I am not certain that pruning the azaleas will achieve the effect you are after. It is sometimes possible to rejuvenate old overgrown azaleas by cutting them off short, however this is better done early in the season before they bloom so they have more strength to devote to the regrowth. It is very stressful on the plants and can kill them if they are already weakened, so please keep that in mind. Once you have cut them off short, then you can pinch or lightly prune the regrowth to try to stimulate branching. However, in a shady location the branching will have a naturally airy pattern and the foliage will naturally be sparse so the pruning and pinching can only do so much.
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