Azaleas-Very heavy pruning

teolewisAugust 16, 2005

My azaleas are about four feet high but there is only green growth on the outer six inches. Everything else is woody material. They are growing in a lot of shade. If I cut them back about 1 1/2 feet will they fill back in? If I cut them this much there will be no green left at all which I don't mind as long as they will fill back in after a few months.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The correct method for rejuvenation pruning is very straight forward. The plant in question should be pruned all the way to the ground, to 6 inch stumps or less. This is the only way to remove all of the old wood (which will not sprout attractively), and provide the plant with one hundred percent juvenile wood loaded with leaf buds. Azaleas are one of the many plants that respond beautifully to proper rejuvenation pruning.

This treatment looks a whole lot better while you're waiting, by the way, than what you've suggested. You might as well do it correctly than just half way!

The correct time to do this, however, is right before your plants would ordinarily flush out with new growth in the spring. Cut the stems cleanly with a sharp lopper or saw, do not fertilize. In a very few short weeks you will be utterly amazed at the wonderful new growth.

After this procedure, it would be wise to keep your azalea full by pruning a portion of the branches to the ground....forcing foliage to emerge lower on the plant.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:12AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

This is probably why mine respond each spring after the deer have chewed 'em to stumps.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 2:20PM
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