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19282Re: [AZ] Question

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  • George Klump
    Oct 30, 2013
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      30 October 2013


      DO NOT PRUNE your azaleas at this time no matter how ratty they may look.  Otherwise, there will not be any flowers on them in the spring of 2014.  The best you can do at the moment is to water them regularly, if it isn't raining.  When you get cold weather and you have a cold wind, be sure you have plenty of water in and around the azaleas so that the roots of the plants do not dry out.  If the soil dries out during a cold winter wind, the plant is very likely to desiccate and that will be the end of it for sure. 

      I was just discussing this yesterday.  Our practice is to feed them only at Easter, Fourth of July and Labor Day because those dates are easy to remember.  We just take a little cottonseed meal and spread about a cupful around the drip line of each plant and water that in gently.  If the ground has been watered beforehand, that's even better.  That's normally all that azaleas need.  They do not like too much feeding. 

      There was some concern about a freeze in the autumn affecting the new growth, if one fed the azaleas on Labor Day or thereabouts.  Where you are should not make any real difference, since the new growth should be already there and hardened off sufficiently for really cold weather which should come in December.  If you feel you may get a hard freeze in October, then, merely back the Labor Day feeding up by perhaps two weeks.  Do the same for Easter, if Easter comes too early.  

      If you wish to prune the azaleas to give them some reasonable shape, I suggest waiting until after they have bloomed in the spring and, then, when they have finished blooming, trim them as you wish.  It's usually best to spot a node on a stem and, then, cut just maybe an eighth-inch above it so that the plant will know what to do. 

      George E. Klump
      Southern California Chapter, ARS/ASA

      0/30/2013 3:53 PM, Lynda Stockslager wrote:
      [AZ] Question
      Lynda Stockslager <Lynda.Stockslager@...>
      10/30/2013 1:07 PM
      "azaleas@yahoogroups.com" <azaleas@yahoogroups.com>


      this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC


      We live in Wilmington NC, and have acquired a lot of very old, large, unkept azaleas when we purchased our house.


      Instead of being pretty they have become an eyesore, and are in need of some major pruning.


      A local tree company says we should cut them back in December, however I keep reading mixed comments.


      Please advise before we make a mistake!


      Thank you,



      Lynda Stockslager

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