How to Cut Back Azaleas

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Azaleas are typically healthy plants that thrive in most climates. Azalea plants do best in the sunny south if they are given lots of water. They require less water in the shady regions of the north. Azaleas prefer well drained, moist soil because they have shallow roots. Proper pruning is also recommended for growing quality azaleas. Azalea flowers are encouraged to bloom after the plant is cut back.

Step 1

Cut back azaleas with a pair of sterilized garden snips. They look like a pair of scissors and can be purchased at any home and garden store. Sterilize the snips with bleach or rubbing alcohol.

Step 2

Prune the azaleas in early spring before the flowers bloom. Once the azaleas begin to flower, they will have ample time to grow to maturity and produce many blooms.

Step 3

Remove the branches from your azaleas that are shaded out by the other branches. These branches will eventually die out due to a lack of sunshine. Remove these first.

Step 4

Snip off the smaller branches that do not produce flowers after blooms appear. These branches will only use valuable nutrition that the blooming branches could benefit from. Removing the non-flowering branches increases the following year's blooms.

Step 5

Take off the tops of the taller branches from the inside of the plant. Cut them back to the size of the height of the outside branches. Prevent the azaleas from shock by removing only a few of the taller branches at a time.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be aware of nutrition deficiencies that can cause problems with extreme weather conditions, infectious agents and pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Garden snips


  • Growing Azaleas

Who Can Help

  • Azalea Society of America
Keywords: azaleas, azalea care, pruning azaleas

About this Author

Lacy Enderson received an AA Degree in Behavioral Science and a BS Degree in Religion/Psychology. Lacy is the author of, "Addiction: A Personal Story" and "So You Want To Lose Weight But You Can't Stop Eating." Her articles have appeared in Discipleship Journal and

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