Pruning/Transplanting Azaleas

mack26May 12, 2010

I moved into a home last fall that had azaleas lining the drive way. I didn't do anything to them last fall or this spring because I wanted to see how well they bloomed. Well they bloomed really well! Problem is, the lady that put them in before we moved in must not have ever pruned them because there are a few that are just one tightly wound ball of shoots, others that are small and seem as if they haven't grown much since planted, which I don't know when that was. I'd like to prune them back so that they are more uniform in shape and size, but I don't want a shear hedge. Can I get some tips on proper azalea pruning?

Additionally, I think I might need to move the bushes farther away from the driveway. When they were planted, they were put in about 12" from the edge of the driveway, so now it looks like I sheared the bushes flush with the edge of the driveway, even though I haven't touched them. I'm assuming this is because the drip line stops right at the edge of the drive and it won't grow out over the drive. Is this correct, or another reason. I'd like to get them to grow evenly and was thinking that if I move them a couple feet farther from the drive, they'll start growing to fill in there. If this is right, what is the best way to move them and when?

Any additional information for soil conditioning, fertilizing, watering, or type of mulch? Thanks for all your help.


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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Check my website for information on all of your questions.

You don't need to move them since they really don't mind being lopsided. They will grow in the open direction. You will need to keep pruning the driveway side, but you would have to do that anyway. Apparently the people before you did that.

One concern I have is road salt. If you use salt on your driveway it will kill your azaleas since they don't like the sodium in the salt. If you use a non-sodium product that is friendly to plants you should be OK.

The important things to remember when pruning is prune immediately after blooming so they will bloom next year and to open up the plant so that air can flow through to prevent disease.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to care for rhododendrons and azaleas.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:24AM
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