Azaleas pruning advice?? Help!

Thread starter #1

Big7

Senior Member
I have about 20 (or more) Azaleas.

The ones in the pine aisles are really large
about 4 feet.

The ones around the patio and driveway
are smaller and closer together. 2 1/2 feet.

They have done well for years just cutting new growth and fertilizer.

Now, I'm seeing dead limbs and noticed when they bloom, not near as many flowers.

I had a big one on the corner of the house and
was afraid it would mess with the slab so I cut it down to the ground and sprayed it.

It's trying to come back now.

So, for the ones I want to keep, how far down can I cut them without harm or stress?

Is it cool enough yet or should I wait?

I have all the tools and would appreciate any advice
to help them get back.

They are about 15 years old, if that even matters.

THANKS in advance!
 

humdandy

Senior Member
Mine sounded about like yours. I cut mine all the way back to the ground. Probably 6 in. nubs sticking up............wife was not happy........but they seem to be doing pretty good now! I've been told that the more you cut the more they will grow.
 

GA native

Senior Member
The best time to prune is in late spring, after they flower. Just like blueberry bushes, you do not shear them, rather, you should remove whole canes. Canes dying back just happens, nothing to be alarmed about. Prune them out all the way to the base, with loppers, to encourage new growth.

As you saw from the one you cut to the ground, it doesn't matter much to the bush how much green you take off. I limit it to about 1/3 every year though.

Fertilize with azalea food in early spring, mid-summer. Fertilizer is dependent upon rainfall. I don't fertilize at all during a drought. Or you can use 10-10-10 plus cottonseed meal. They favor acidic soil.

This guy is on WSB radio every Saturday morning. He knows more than I do: http://www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q-and-a/azalea-pruning-large-ones/
 
Thread starter #4

Big7

Senior Member
Mine sounded about like yours. I cut mine all the way back to the ground. Probably 6 in. nubs sticking up............wife was not happy........but they seem to be doing pretty good now! I've been told that the more you cut the more they will grow.
When did you do that?

About how long can I expect them to pop back
if I cut them back that much?

Been reading a little and I think in addition to cutting back,
I'm going to take out every other one by the root.

The ones along the patio and driveway are pretty
close together. I think the big ones in the pine aisles
are far enough apart.

Will post some pics when it stops raining for a second.

Thanks for the reply! :cheers:
 
Thread starter #5

Big7

Senior Member
The best time to prune is in late spring, after they flower. Just like blueberry bushes, you do not shear them, rather, you should remove whole canes. Canes dying back just happens, nothing to be alarmed about. Prune them out all the way to the base, with loppers, to encourage new growth.

As you saw from the one you cut to the ground, it doesn't matter much to the bush how much green you take off. I limit it to about 1/3 every year though.

Fertilize with azalea food in early spring, mid-summer. Fertilizer is dependent upon rainfall. I don't fertilize at all during a drought. Or you can use 10-10-10 plus cottonseed meal. They favor acidic soil.

This guy is on WSB radio every Saturday morning. He knows more than I do: http://www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q-and-a/azalea-pruning-large-ones/
Must have been typing when you posted this.
Just now saw it.

Thanks for the info.

Appreciated very much! :clap:
 

humdandy

Senior Member
When did you do that?

About how long can I expect them to pop back
if I cut them back that much?

Been reading a little and I think in addition to cutting back,
I'm going to take out every other one by the root.

The ones along the patio and driveway are pretty
close together. I think the big ones in the pine aisles
are far enough apart.

Will post some pics when it stops raining for a second.

Thanks for the reply! :cheers:
I did mine after they flowered this year. They grow pretty quick.
 

Miguel Cervantes

GON Severe Weatherman
Do not cut them back right now. If it warms up this winter, which it usually does for a week or so, they may flush new growth and the next freeze will most likely kill them.

Wait until after they bloom next spring and then cut them back. How far isn't really important as long as you don't take them down to six inches, but even then they'll most likely flush back out.

My dad had 6ft tall George Tabor Azaleas in his front yard and the spring before we sold his place I took them back to 3 ft. They flushed back out within a few weeks and did great.
 

mrjd

New Member
Yep! Prune after flowering and by July 4. Any later and next year's bloom buds are starting and you've lost them for the next year. Ones as old as yours will be pretty resilient and pop back
 
I will add that azaleas are shallow rooted! No" threat to slabs", which makes them easily transplantable. Even mature ones!
 
Mine sounded about like yours. I cut mine all the way back to the ground. Probably 6 in. nubs sticking up............wife was not happy........but they seem to be doing pretty good now! I've been told that the more you cut the more they will grow.
That is in reference to privets, not azaleas!
 
Opinion of a horticulturist: You can usually cut azaleas back almost to the ground to rejuvenate them. They will sprout back out pretty quick. I've done it many, many times over the years. As others have said, azaleas bloom on the previous year's growth, so right after they bloom is the best time to do it.
 
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