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Revitalizing Old Azaleas
Ask the Expert:Need expert advice on how to prune old azaleas
I have two old azaleas, beautiful orange and peach. Â I have moved them from one home to another @ 10 years ago. Â They have very few blooms, nice leaves but some bare branches. Â I would like to prune them to make them healthly and full like they once were but do not want to kill them. Â Can someone tell me how to best care for them? Â They reside in VA and are about 4 feet tall. Belvia
Plant Expert Reply:
First do the azaleas get at least half a day sun? To be full and beautiful azlaeas need light. If the azaleas are not getting enough light, move them to a better location.Â When you move them you will need to trim them. The following trimming instrutions will work whether you move them or not.
Trim your Azaleas back to half their size. Make sure the bottom is a little fuller than the top so that light will get through to all of the plant. Normally you trim azaleas right after they bloom. In your case the timing should be ok. The azaleas in your area should have bloomed already or at least be in bloom.
Once you have trimmed your azaleas, you need to fertilize them. I like to use a slow release granular fertilizer that has a systemic insecticide in it. This way the azalea get the nutrients they need and protection for insect to boot.Â A good rule of thumb for healthy azaleas is to fertilize them from April through August once a month.
To keep your azaleas healthy and shapely trim them once a year right after they bloom.Â Always make the bottom fuller than the top.