How should I Prune my Azaleas?

latorgatorAugust 16, 2010

Hey, I moved into a new house that has some rather unkempt Azaleas growing in front of it, and along the driveway. I have no experience with Azaleas, but I really want to trim the suckers back a little so that they don't block the view of the house and strangle out the landscaping in front of them.

Here are the Azaleas by the driveway:

And the ones in front of the house:

I've read that certain species of Azalea only do well at certain heights, so first I want to know if keeping these things at a level an inch or two below the fence makes sense(apprx. 4' fence). Second, I've read that my choices are either rejuvenation pruning or the 1/3 a year method. The 1/3 method is out because I need to lower these suckers now. Rejuvenation pruning would be okay, but it just seams very drastic, and of course this late in the season it doesn't seem ideal. I've read in a few places that you can hedge clip azaleas, and that seems like what I would like to do, but I don't know if that would work with this species, and I also don't know if I should hedge clip them to the desired height, or clip them below that so the new chutes grow up to that height. So I guess I just want some advice.

I want these bushes an inch or two below the level of my fence, and maybe cut back by about 6", does that sound achievable, does it make sense for these azaleas, and how would I do it?

Here are some close-up pictures if it will help identify the variety of azalea I have:

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Azaleas have growth buds all along their stems just under the bark surface - new growth will sprout from just below any cut you make.

I think you'd be happier with these in their setting if you didn't attempt a formal sheared hedge approach, better would be to selectively prune stems to the height you want.
Cut back a little lower than you want the plants to grow, healthy well established azaleas will quickly return to their pre-pruning height.

Your azaleas have set their buds for next Springs blooms, so be aware that while it won't damage the plants, pruning now will remove most of the flower display for next season.
The ideal time to prune is immediately following Spring flowers.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 9:54AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Azalea roots are tiny fibruous roots located near the top 4" of the soil so be careful when stepping near the shrubs to prune.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 12:08PM
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I just recently inherited a beautiful but majorly over grown azalea. It is planted in an area that is over grown with everything from weeds to roses to a very hardy china berry tree that was recently cut down and has grown back 4 new trees. We would like to reclaim the area and think that moving the azalea bush may be our best choice. We have no clue what may be planted in under this bush. Any ideas on the best way to deal with this problem? The azalea bush is @ 7' tall and over 8' wide, and is thriving in direct midday/evening North Florida sun...seems VERY healthy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 12:46AM
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