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Pruning azaleas

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  • Melinda
    Hello, I think I may have ruined my azaleas by cutting them too close the base of the plant. I also trimmed all of the branches. I can barely see any branches
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 16, 2013
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      Hello,
      I think I may have ruined my azaleas by cutting them too close the base of the plant. I also trimmed all of the branches. I can barely see any branches sticking out of the pine straw. I live in South Georgia. Is there any chance they will survive? I just cut them so it is also late in the year for pruning.
      Melinda

      Sent from my iPhone
    • William C. Miller III
      Hi Melinda, The trim job you described sounded pretty drastic. Fortunately, evergreen azaleas are pretty tolerant of rough handling. They will probably
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 16, 2013
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        Hi Melinda,

        The trim job you described sounded pretty drastic.   Fortunately, evergreen azaleas are pretty tolerant of rough handling.  They will probably survive but I don't imagine they will bloom next year.  Next year's flowers began to develop several months ago --- and you've just trimmed them away.  Trimming is best performed as soon as possible after the azaleas bloom and certainly before mid June.  Given your trim job, it will take your plants a number of years to recover fully.

        I would suggest you be a little more reserved in your trimming.  In fact, you might like the effect of spreading the trimming process over several years to give the plants a chance to recover.  In the first year you trim back by about 1/3 and then wait a year or so, allow the azalea to recover, and then decide if you wish to reduce them again.  If you have a six foot plant, you can easily take off the top third without creating too much of a problem.

        William C. Miller III
        Bethesda, Maryland
        www.theazaleaworks.com


        W Melinda wrote:
         

        Hello,
        I think I may have ruined my azaleas by cutting them too close the base of the plant. I also trimmed all of the branches. I can barely see any branches sticking out of the pine straw. I live in South Georgia. Is there any chance they will survive? I just cut them so it is also late in the year for pruning.
        Melinda

        Sent from my iPhone


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