When pruning azaleas to reduce height, particularly older plants, it is best to do the pruning in stages, to minimize the shock to the plant. This preserves the current seasons bloom, and allows time for the plant to produce flower buds for next years bloom. Azaleas in general are pretty maintenance-free plants, but immediately after flowering is a good time to prune, fertilize and re-mulch. Fertilize with an acid lover’s formula in late winter to early spring but before the plant has flowered. Red-stemmed dogwoods. This gives the azaleas plenty of time to make flower buds for next year. Forsythia. ). Use hand trimmers (or loppers, for thicker branches) to remove dead or damaged stems where they connect with healthy wood. How to Care for Azaleas It describes clean-up pruning, shape pruning, and rejuvenation pruning. Our Southern Indica azaleas can become as “large as Trailway buses,” as my good friend John Floyd, former editor of Southern Living Magazine, used to say. Prune new growth back almost to where you desire new buds. This is the only way to remove all of the old wood and provide the plant with one hundred percent juvenile wood loaded with leaf buds. Rejuvenation pruning is a technique most often used to restore older, tired and thinned out azaleas to health. When to Prune: Typically, rhododendrons and azaleas are pruned after they bloom. Bluebeard (Caryopteris) -- done annually. In rejuvenation pruning, you cut all of the stems down to the ground in one go. Remove dead, broken or diseased branches any time of the year. Rejuvenation or renewal pruning is usually done in early spring before new growth emerges. If you prune in summer or fall, you'll cut off the flower buds and assure green blobness next spring. Pruning Camellias In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. Azaleas are a better candidate for renewal pruning. APRIL; Azalea: Light pruning(12 inches or less) after flowering but not after July 10th (Early spring – February – and autumn pruning removes next year’s blossoms). The correct method for rejuvenation pruning is very straight forward. Deutzia. Rhododendrons and azaleas set next year's flower buds by mid to late summer. This will mean that in years to come – just as the shrub is reaching its full glory, there will be a need to take drastic action by way of cutting down hard. If azaleas have been neglected and are too tall and out of shape, rejuvenation pruning may be necessary to bring them back. Even though both varieties of evergreen azalea should survive the winter, you'll probably see a few dead or diseased looking stems and branches in the shrub come spring. Flowering quince. This should be cut out back to the base of the plant. Always check the mature size of the shrub before planting; a properly-sized plant will require less maintenance pruning. Because these are generally slow growing shrubs, there is often a tendency to plant them too close to other shrubs or obstructions. This pruning technique involves cutting the branches of the azalea back to short stumps. You can perform light pruning in mid-summer with hand pruners after new growth is no longer soft and breaks when you bend it. Mature plants can be cut down to a height of eight to 12 inches. The world's best-selling reblooming azalea, Encore Azaleas bloom in spring, summer and fall. Prune deciduous trees and fruit trees in late winter/early spring. Weigela. However, overgrown azaleas should be pruned in February**. A properly sited azalea fits the space it's growing in and needs only light pruning to shape it up, increase fullness or promote more flowering. New blossoms rejuvenation pruning azaleas soft and breaks when you cut you are cutting branches! Mounds of twigs that will explode with new growth come spring when you cut of. 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