How to Prune Lemon Light Azaleas


The lights variety of azaleas were made in 1957 and are a cross between Japanese azaleas and Chinese azaleas. Lemon lights are lemon yellow in color and grow 4 to 5 feet tall. The striking deciduous bushes bloom in May with large, showy flowers. Once the season changes to fall, lemon light azaleas turn color. Prune lemon light azaleas to control their size and shape, and to promote good, healthy and long-lasting blooms.

Step 1

Prune lemon light azaleas in the early spring, before the plant has new growth. You can cut off new blooms but the shrub will have more than enough time to recover and bloom in the season.

Step 2

Remove branches that are in the shade. The lack of sunlight will cause them to die off eventually anyway. Cut them deep inside the bulk of the lemon light azalea, where they meet healthy wood.

Step 3

Cut off the tallest branches that are sticking out of the plant and ruining the plant's appearance. Do this over a few seasons to avoid shock. Use the shears to trim them down within the plant. New growth will fill in the gaps.

Step 4

Cut branches that are diseased, damaged or dead in order to free up nutrients to the rest of the shrub. Make the cut at a side branch that is about a third of the diameter of the unwanted branch. Cut as close to the side branch as possible to avoid a stub.

Step 5

Trim off a few more long branches the following year, spreading out the pruning of lemon light azaleas over a three-year period. New growth will sprout at the base, creating a desirable rounded shape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't prune in midsummer because next season's flower buds are already growing. You will cut off next year's flowers. Avoid pruning late in the season because buds and leaves that grow from the cuts will not have time to strengthen before the harsh winter sets in. Don't leave noticeable stubs. They might become infected.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Gloves


  • University of Minnesota: Shrubs - Azaleas
  • Rhododendron (Lemon Twist Mollis Azalea)
  • Azalea Society of America: Frequently Asked Questions
Keywords: prune azaleas, lemon light azaleas, cut branches

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.