Azalea shrubs bloom abundantly during the spring months, flowering in colors including white, pink, purple and red. There are also varieties that bloom in summer and fall. This ornamental shrub is not only prized for its blooms, but also for its deep green foliage that is evergreen in some varieties. Azaleas flower on last year's branches, so proper pruning is necessary to remove the wood that is more than two years old and to keep these flowering shrubs looking their best.
Prune any winter damage from azaleas in spring right before new growth begins. Cut off dead and damaged branches with pruning shears; remove them down to the ground or just beneath where the healthy wood begins.
Trim the top of the azalea in spring or in summer after flowering ends. Cut the tops of the stems down to the desired height each year so the azalea doesn't become overgrown.
Trim overgrown lateral branches back to the desired length after flowering in summer. Cut back single branches, do not shear the entire front of the azalea as you would a hedge. Cut the branches back 3 to 5 inches further than the desired final length so the cut ends of the wood are camouflaged inside the azalea bush.
Cut out two-year-old wood after blooming. Cut these branches down to soil level. New wood grows in late summer and fall to replace these branches.