Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Azaleas: to prune or not to prune?

The azaleas are in full bloom at my house and in my neighborhood. I love the splash of color it provides in the garden. Here is mine nestled next to a weeping spruce:

My neighbor has a whole hedge of azaleas along the sidewalk: 

For all other times of the year, these shrubs are rather ordinary. But for the few weeks they are in bloom, it's a show stopper along the street. I love the how the different color blooms mesh together in this informal hedge, like a painter's palette at the end of a painting session.

Personally, I like the informal look to these shrubs rather than the perfectly sheared forms. Here are a few examples of those:

Azaleas should be pruned immediately after flowering which will allow for new leaf growth and return to natural form before it sets its new buds for next year. Waiting three months or later after bloom may sacrifice next years blooms. 

Here is another example of the natural beauty of this shrub. Here, the yellow, red and purple azaleas flank the winding stone path, as if to lead us to a woodland retreat. 

So which do you like? The informal woodland hedge or the sheared gumball shaped shrub? Share in the comment section below!


  1. LOVE azaleas (especially that HUGE gum drop one you featured in your post) and thanks for the tip about pruning them after they flower. I've also spotted some amazing ones around the neighborhood...they are like small trees - the biggest azaleas I've ever seen!

    1. Yes, they can get really big and full of color when in bloom! Thanks for commenting Katya!

  2. I much prefer the more natural look for these. Also, I think it takes a certain eye for color to avoid planting clashing shades right next to each other. This is a shrub that I haven't tried yet!

  3. I'm commenting on an old post, but it isn't spam. I just found your blog. Here in the Deep South where azaleas grow the size of a mini-van, we prune only where necessary for better shape or to reveal an overgrown path. Exceptions are those who do not know better or have a zealous yard-person.

    1. Interesting Jean! Thank you for visiting and sharing your knowledge!


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