Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Denton, NC
Avatar for renatatripp
Question by renatatripp
April 29, 2007
With a very weird winter the weather here in NC warmed. Many plants and shrubs bloomed early and now have leaves and flowers that are dead. I was especially wondering what to do with my very large azaleas. They are very mature and was wondering if it would be best to cut them back to the ground or just prune off all the dead flowers. Also...on the trees where the leaves were there anything that can be done to make them look better? Is there any danger of them dying out? Thanks for your consideration.

Answer from NGA
April 29, 2007
It sounds as though your azaleas have already bloomed - if so, you can safely prune them back to get rid of all the dead plant parts. I wouldn't prune them too drastically since they've just suffered through a late frost and need all their strength to recover. Prune them lightly now and wait until after they've finished blooming next spring to do any heavy pruning. (Let's hope there are no late frosts next spring!) As for the other damaged plants - you can lightly prune the affected stems, but don't try to pick off the dead leaves. Just allow the trees and plants to recover on their own. It's possible they will develop new leaves where they lost early season leaves and flowers. Only time will tell...

Best wishes with your landscape!

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