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How to Prune Overgrown Azaleas

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Azaleas are a popular addition to gardens, and are ideal for adding color to a landscape. It is important to prune them right after they bloom from spring to summer, in order for them to maintain their colorful blooms for the next season. Sometimes azaleas growing wild or that have not had proper attention paid to the plant become overgrown. Pruning them requires a little time and simple landscaping tools.

Make sure the pruning supplies have been wiped down with rubbing alcohol in order to make sure they are sanitized. Dirty shears can spread harmful bacteria to the azaleas when cutting branches.

Find any broken, dead or diseased branches on the azalea shrub, and cut them back to the base with the pruning scissors for smaller branches, and the shears for thicker branches.

Prune back branches that have grown several inches out from the shrub, back to where the top of the other branches are next. Cut away any branches that are growing out awkwardly without support or crossing other branches.

Prune away every third or fourth branch in the center of the bush in order for more sunlight to reach the center of the plant (this depends on how large or overgrown the azalea bush is) Prune away every third branch for large azaleas. Now shape them if you desire, so that all branches reach out to the same height and length. You can give them a formal appearance, or shape them in a square or circular style.

Cut carefully any shoots or small suckers that are growing upward from the base of the azalea. This is unnecessary growth and will only grab nutrients that could otherwise be supporting healthier parts of the plants.


Things You Will Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol and cloth