Pruning Overgrown Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Claiborne, LA (Zone 8B)
Avatar for lionsdensalo
Question by lionsdensalo
August 17, 2005
I have overgrown azaleas and want to cut them back enough, but still get a bloom next spring.

Answer from NGA
August 17, 2005
Azaleas develop flower buds over the summer months that will open the following spring, so if you prune your azaleas now, you'll probably prune away the flower buds which will reduce the flowering next spring. A better plan is to prune your azaleas next spring, immediately after they have finished blooming. This will give your plants all summer to grow and to develop new flower buds for the following year's flower display. The general rule of thumb is to remove no more than one-third of the plant in any pruning session. So, if your azaleas are in need of renovation rather than just a slight reduction in size, plan to do it over a 2-3 year period. Best wishes with your azaleas!

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