The evergreen Encore azalea has been a huge hit with gardeners since its 1997 introduction. Unlike traditional azaleas that bloom only in the spring, Encore azaleas bloom in the spring, summer and fall. Encore azaleas require very little pruning, and you do not need to remove spent flowers.
If you want to trim your azalea for space or to remove dead or rubbing branches, do so immediately after the shrub flowers in the spring. If you wait too long after flowering, you'll accidentally remove buds that will flower in the next season.
Examine your shrub to check its shape or to see if there are any dead or rubbing branches. Use a brightly colored string or ribbon to mark which branches you'd like to trim.
Use pruning shears or garden snips to trim back no more than one-third of each branch's length.
Remove any dead branches or stems, or any that are rubbing against each other.