Azaleas – Pruning and Growth Tips

Q: Some of my azaleas have become rather leggy (spindley). They are blooming right up at the top but that’s about it. When they finish blooming is there any way to trim/prune them to make them bush out? Also, some of my other azaleas have grown taller than I like. How severely can I prune them so as not to damage them.

A: If you promise to water them afterwards, you can prune azaleas moderately or severely now. The leggy twigs should be individually cut out deep into the center of the plant if possible. This will keep the shrub at its present size without encouraging new growth.

Tall and overgrown azaleas can be cut back to twelve inches tall after they bloom. By June, several strong sprouts will emerge from the bare trunk. Pinch out the tip of these sprouts when they reach six inches long. They will sprout again and make a nicely rounded shrub by fall.