Azalea Trimming Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by JBRONCFAN, Apr 16, 2012.


    JBRONCFAN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Knockout Roses are rose bushes that grow 4 feet tall and wide. In the spring, you cut them back to 18" and they grow to 4 feet again.

    Last year I accidentally cut the tops of two Azaleas that bloom big red every year and I was worried I messed them up. To my surprise they actually did a quick vegetation grow then bloomed REAL big red like the cut back actually helped. I know with the Knockout Roses you are supposed to cut them back in early Spring.

    Question, are Azaleas supposed to be cut back similar to Knockout Roses? Maybe not cutback as hard but cutback at all? Early Spring??
  2. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Prune Azaleas in the early spring Feb to early Mar.
    Hand prune dead branches then shape by cutting longer stems at a node.
    A node is a little nub at the base of a limb.That will produce a new shoot.

    My Knock out roses are 12' tall
    If you are trying to create a privacy hedge that will be full
    Then only prune the dead canes in early March.

    If you are in an area where heavy snow is possible then you should prune to prevent breakage.

    If you are trying to maintain a 4' rose bed then you need to prune heavy in the Fall winter Dec-Jan.Then lightly prune mid summer and fall.The more you prune the more blooms you will have.Every other month is normal for a 4'-6' hedge.
    Fertilize with rose food every other pruning. :)
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    prune your azaleas after they bloom for your best results.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    General rule of thumb for all flowering shrubs is to prune after flowering.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Double Ditto.

  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    The answer to your question is no. Azalea's are meant to have a natural shape. Your azalea's responded like they did because they put almost all there energy into that area. If they had to do that every year that would be detrimental to the azalea. They aren't meant to be formally pruned. Light shaping after bloom is fine.
  7. IMO any plant that has a bloom should be shaped with pruners vs. hedge trimmers. There are literally a couple of plants that I use power trimmers on. The rest are done by hand. I hate the look of sheared plants, plants that should have tons of flowers with none b/c the maintenance company takes a hedge trimmer to them. There is an art to gardening.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I always trimmed my own azaleas with hand shears but for my customers I use hedge trimmers...on the other hand, I don't have many customers with azaleas.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Yea, I only have 1 customer with 1 or 2 azaleas total. They aren't that common in s Florida, but more common in central and north Florida.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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