Azelea pruning

paulsmithDecember 20, 2008

I have some large azelea in front ot the house I would like to trim back...may I do this now...? I know the spring is the better time to prune them but i am afraid an ice storm might damage the plants this winter if they are to tall and thin...also they are blocking a walk way...

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

You are sacrificing next Springs blooms if you prune now - they have set their flower buds and winter pruning would remove those.

If you do have an ice storm and damage, then removing anything broken or jagged is recommended.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 11:32AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

There is nothing wrong with pruning now except the removing next springs flowers which Morz8 explained. Azaleas can be pruned anytime. The recommended time is immediately after they bloom so you don't remove the next season's flower buds. Other than that, prune anytime. The Japanese prune 12 months of the year because neat and tidy trumps flowers. Most Americans would rather have the flowers.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 4:39PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I would move them so they aren't in the way of the walk.
(I landscaped and did yard makeovers for 30 yrs.)
You can also prune individual branches that are in the way of the walk or the ones liable to catch more ice and snow than they can carry.
Shearing would be my last choice this time of year. Maybe shearing them right after they bloom would be an alternative.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 1:45PM
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When can you move azaleas? I have a couple that I want to plant elsewhere.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 9:58PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

In a gardening Zone 8, you can move them just about any time the ground is not frozen and they are not in active growth. The period of active growth is immediately after bloom when the new foliage buds are opening.

Just be careful not to replant any deeper than they were originally growing, mulch the root zone with something organic to conserve moisture and to help keep the soil cool in coming months.

(My own coastal Z8 garden soil, while not frozen, is much too wet to dig now - spading would ruin the soil structure.)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 7:07PM
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