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cutting back azealas/rhodos now



 
 
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  #1  
Old 10-09-2004, 02:48 PM
Roy
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On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 08:00:22 -0400, "kc"
wrote:

===As a new home owner who inherited lots of landscaping with my house, I
===didn't know to cut back azealas and rhododendrens when they bloomed this
===spring. I've been told if I cut them back now I will "cut off all the
===spring blooms", but they are horribly leggy and overgrown and I think I have
===no choice or my neighbors may picket me soon...do you think I'll get some
===bloom even if I cut back now?
===Thanks
===Kirsten
===



Odds are you will still get some blooms, but probably not as many as
you would if you pruned them when it was the right time. In all the
years we have lived here, I have only ever gottenaround to pruning my
azalea perhaps 3 or 4 times at the correct time of the year, and
usually ind myself cutting them back when I have the time. They have
always had more than sufficient blooms just the same. This year agan I
never got them done in time, but will probably hit them hard and heavy
in a month or two.......
Personally I would cut them back and what happens, happens. You
certainly won;t kill them in all reality, as azaleas are pretty darn
tough and withstand quite severe cutting back once they are
established..
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2004, 03:43 PM
S. M. Henning
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"kc" wrote:

As a new home owner who inherited lots of landscaping with my house, I
didn't know to cut back azealas and rhododendrens when they bloomed this
spring. I've been told if I cut them back now I will "cut off all the
spring blooms", but they are horribly leggy and overgrown and I think I have
no choice or my neighbors may picket me soon...do you think I'll get some
bloom even if I cut back now?


Hi Kristen,

The problem is that the flower buds are already on the plant now. They
started forming around mid summer. If you very carefully prune just the
ends of the longest branches, you will only loose the flowers on the
longest branches. If you go in with a hedge pruner, you will probably
loose most every flower.

For maximum flower production, pinch off faded flowers or the developing
seed capsules that follow [ deadheading ]. Pruning is seldom needed
except for removal of faded flowers, but if it is needed, branches may
be trimmed immediately after flowering. Prune in the spring after the
bloom has faded and before mid-summer. Rhododendrons start to form the
next years flower buds in mid summer and by fall the buds are fairly
well developed. Pruning after mid summer removes the next years flower
buds. Rhododendron and azaleas may be pruned after the flowers have
faded to induce new growth. Prune out dead, diseased or damaged
branches, and in cases where plants have become scraggly, start cutting
the oldest branches back to encourage growth in younger branches.
Pruning in the fall is not recommended since it will remove the buds for
next years flowers.

--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
  #3  
Old 10-09-2004, 07:51 PM
David Ross
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kc wrote:

As a new home owner who inherited lots of landscaping with my house, I
didn't know to cut back azealas and rhododendrens when they bloomed this
spring. I've been told if I cut them back now I will "cut off all the
spring blooms", but they are horribly leggy and overgrown and I think I have
no choice or my neighbors may picket me soon...do you think I'll get some
bloom even if I cut back now?
Thanks
Kirsten


Depending on your climate, you risk killing them. Pruning now
might promote tender new growth. If you get frost or snow in the
winter, that growth will die. Having put some effort into creating
that growth, the plants might not recover to create even more new
growth in the spring.

Leave them alone until after they flower in the spring. Prune
then. New growth will have a chance to harden before the following
winter. If any neighbor comments, explain that they can be pruned
only in the late spring.

This is not a problem in my mild-winter climate, but I still prune
my azaleas only in the spring.

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean
influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
Gardening pages at http://www.rossde.com/garden/
  #4  
Old 10-09-2004, 08:48 PM
Stephen M. Henning
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David Ross wrote:

Leave them alone until after they flower in the spring. Prune
then. New growth will have a chance to harden before the following
winter. If any neighbor comments, explain that they can be pruned
only in the late spring.
This is not a problem in my mild-winter climate, but I still prune
my azaleas only in the spring.


I live in zone 6 and that is not a problem here if you just cut off the
ends of branches that stick way out beyond the normal plant habit. This
happens a lot with azaleas here and I frequently prune off some of the
excessive summer top growth and it never stimulates new growth. It does
make the flower buds that are left do better.

If you are talking about using a hedge trimmer or cutting way back, then
that would stimulate tender growth.

--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to
Visit my Rhododendron and Azalea web pages at:
http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhody.html
Also visit the Rhododendron and Azalea Bookstore at:
http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhodybooks.html
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
  #5  
Old 15-09-2004, 02:00 PM
kc
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Default cutting back azealas/rhodos now

As a new home owner who inherited lots of landscaping with my house, I
didn't know to cut back azealas and rhododendrens when they bloomed this
spring. I've been told if I cut them back now I will "cut off all the
spring blooms", but they are horribly leggy and overgrown and I think I have
no choice or my neighbors may picket me soon...do you think I'll get some
bloom even if I cut back now?
Thanks
Kirsten


 




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