Q: I have some overgrown azaleas that need some pruning. I’ve been waiting for cooler weather to get outside and tackle this job. Is now a good time to prune azaleas?
A: Removal of a few unusually long branches to improve the plant’s appearance is okay now. But the major pruning of azaleas is best done shortly after the flower begin to fade in late spring. Major pruning after June will interfere with flowering the following spring. Azaleas produce their flower buds during late summer and fall, which open the following spring. You can find the flower buds now tucked away in the leaves at the tip end of the shoots. Pruning azaleas this late in the year will result in fewer flowers in spring.