Twiggy Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Stoughton, MA
Avatar for Anne2139
Question by Anne2139
August 20, 1999
I purchased many small azaleas and have them lining my fence in the front yard. My goal was to eventually have a wall of azaleas. The area does receive sun in the morning hours. The plants are now becoming "twiggy" and the leaves are scarce in some of the plants. I do not know the propper way to prune them to enhance their growth and solve this "twiggy" problem.

Answer from NGA
August 20, 1999
The normal shape of amost azaleas is "twiggy" or a sort of light and airy tiered shape. Shade also encourages the legginess. To make them grow denser, you will need to go in and selectively trim out the lanky bits cutting just above a branch and also tip back the new growth once or twice during the early summer. Also avoid overfertilizing -- these plants are not heavy feeders. If the plants you purchased were very dense it is because they are sheared regularly at the grower's.

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