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Azalea pruning

Posted by seehorn (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 25, 09 at 21:46

I live in zone 7 and have lots of old large overgrown azaleas. I need for them to be smaller since they have
overgrown the area originally planted. They need to be 2-3 feet smaller. Can I cut them now (April 25) and how far back.


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RE: Azalea pruning

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 26, 09 at 14:06

The preferred time to prune is right after bloom so you don't remove the flower buds, or during bloom if you want to enjoy your cut stems in vases.

Azaleas have dormant buds all along their stems so cut where you must to achieve the desired size - they will sprout from directly below any cut you make. But be aware with well established roots, healthy plants will reach their present size in a few short years again. If they really don't fit the site, moving them could be an option.


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RE: Azalea pruning

I have a George Tabor that came with the house when I bought it some nine years ago. It was planted on the NE corner of the house and of course it was super large. Ever since that first year, I routinely cut out nearly all of the three-year-old wood, as far back as is reasonable. I do this each spring as the blooms are starting to fall off. I wind up with a much different looking plant, and love the way it helps to keep the blooms coming on strong year after year. It opens up the middle of the plant to sunlight and circulation, and gets rid of any long-term damage from the heat of our Oklahoma summers. I wouldn't dream of moving this plant, even though if I did I could let it get larger and stay larger--I'd still wind up thinning it for health's sake. (I sometimes leave a few lower branches to anchor to the ground for propogation.)


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RE: In favor of leaving them be

I have a George Tabor that came with the house when I bought it some nine years ago. It was planted on the NE corner and of course it was super large, blocking the window. Ever since that first year, I routinely cut out nearly all of the wood that is over a half-inch in diameter, as far back as is reasonable. I do this in the spring as the blooms are starting to fall off. I wind up with a much different looking plant, and love the way it helps to keep the blooms coming on strong year after year. It opens up the middle of the plant to sunlight and circulation, and gets rid of any long-term damage from the heat of our Oklahoma summers. I wouldn't dream of moving this plant, even though if I did I could let it get larger and stay larger--I'd still wind up thinning it for health's sake. (I sometimes leave a few lower branches to anchor to the ground for propogation.)


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