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How to Properly Prune Azaleas


So the warm weather has arrived and with it so has the rapid growth of everything green.  You, the ambitious, albeit inexperienced green-thumb now find yourself in a familiar position – you have plants all over the yard that have either blossomed already or are just beginning to flush out.  Not knowing what to prune, when to prune and how to prune, you turn to our blog here in order to help give you some much needed guidance.


Well it’s a good thing you did!


Today we will discuss one of the most prominent flowering plants in South Carolina – the azalea.  If you are like most in the Lowcountry then chances are that you have at least one azalea hidden somewhere in your yard.  And if you are like most people then chances are that you are not quite sure as to when the best time to prune them is.  Generally speaking, it is best to prune your azaleas as soon as their spring blooms fade.  If you cannot prune them by this time then you can defer pruning to later in the summer as fall approaches (late June works).  The reason why it is important to prune immediately after the spring flush is because once the flowers bloom, your azalea is already hard at work producing buds that will end up as part of next spring’ opening ceremony.


In addition to knowing when to prune, it is vitally important to know how to prune.  Please, please, please: do not be counted among the conspicuously clueless and take to your azaleas with a hedge trimmer.  There is already enough tragedy in this world and it doesn’t need to be added upon by you absolutely devastating a plant that would be better off if never touched.  Coming at your azaleas with hedge trimmers and fashioning them into that lovely box or sphere will not only look bad but will hurt your azalea’s health.


Instead, it is best to prune your azaleas with a pair of hand pruners.  This will ensure that you are getting good, clean cuts on the branches which will promote better growth.  In pruning azaleas, your aim should be to keep it looking natural.  In order to accomplish this you will need to prune your branches and limbs at varying lengths with an eye towards your desired shape.


By simply taking these two considerations into account you can avoid being blackballed at your next HOA meeting and also enjoy a bounty of beautiful flowers next spring.

Pruning Azaleas

Pruning Azaleas

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