established azalea bushes - Knowledgebase Question

pittsburgh, pa
Question by lmccaul4
August 19, 2009
I have two established azalea bushes one being about 5 years old and the other 2 years old. The older one is tall and bushy and looks healthy and has room underneath to plant something around it of color to compliment the green in the off seasons. Is there any perenninals that that I could plant that would go well with the needs of the azalea? Can you trim azalea bushes like hedges to contain a reasonable heighth without damaging the bush and if so when would be best time to do this?

Answer from NGA
August 19, 2009


You can prune azaleas to keep them neat and compact. Since these shrubs spend the summer months developing flower buds for the following spring's floral display, you'll want to prune them back immediately after they have finished flowering so they have the rest of the summer to develop new growth.

I'd plant Variegated Fallopia, Hosta, lamium or coral bells beneath the azaleas. They all prefer moist, acidic soils and shady sites.


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