moving old overgrown azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Blue Bell, Pe
Question by qpitkidfrm
May 23, 2008
I recently moved back into my childhood home and I am planning to expand. In the area where I am going to build are 10 azaleas that have grown into one big mass. I need to move them for the addition. How far back should I prune them before I move them? They are basically umbrellas and I was planning on taking off 1/3 but that will not leave much in the leaf department. Any advise would be appreciated.


Answer from NGA
May 23, 2008


The rule of thumb is never to remove more than one-third of the live growth on a shrub during any pruning session. If the lower stems are bare they may never produce new stems and leaves so be careful how much you prune - just take off one third of the topmost growth. I have had the experience where I've completely cut overgrown azaleas down to the ground and they have resprouted - but this may not work for you, especially if you plan on digging them up and replanting them. If there is a reason for saving them rather than replacing them, then prune and dig with caution, and plan on nursing them back to health after the move.

Best wishes with your azaleas.

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