When is the best time to prune rhododendrons and azaleas?
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
Right after the last bloom begins to look 'ugly'. Wait too long, and you take the risk of new bloom sets being pruned off. Next years blooms take shape soon after the last bloom of the current year fades, so pruning at the wrong time will cut off all those buds for next year and all you'll have is a green shrub in your garden.
When you do your pruning, make sure to disinfect your shears between plants to avoid transferring any fungi or pests from plant to plant (sometimes very hard to see until damage-infestation is killing your plant).
Also, open the interior of the bush a bit, and remove all crossed/rubbing branches/stems to keep fungi and aphids from finding an attractive home.
These plants are some of the most beautiful garden plantings, especially when planted in masses, but they do need to be pruned at the right time. :)
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