June: Azaleas

Your azaleas have put on a great show this spring. Now it's time to do the work that will enable them to put on an even greater show next year!

PRUNING: Once your azaleas have finished blooming, it is time to begin maintaining their great looks and health. As with most spring-blooming plants, the most important time to work on your azaleas is immediately after their blooms are spent. Prune your azaleas to either fine-tune their shapes, or to cut them back hard to tame overgrown or spindly plants. Pruning will create fuller plants with more terminal buds, thus more blooms next year. The pruning must be done before August 1st. Azaleas and other spring-blooming shrubs set their flower buds for the next spring in August and September. Pruning them late won't hurt the plants, but it will remove flower buds.
FEEDING: This is also a great time for fertilizing your azaleas. Betty's recommends using Agriform tablets to feed any shrub, placing one pill per cubic foot of plant in a ring near the base of the trunk, NOT out in the dripline.
PESTS: Lacebug is a common pest affecting azaleas growing in the sun. The leaves develop a bleached or rusty color. The undersides of the leaves will have black dots. Apply Bayer Tree and Shrub systemic pesticide by pouring the diluted product at the base of the plant. Once the product is absorbed, the plant will be protected for one year.

Watering Information

In case of unseasonable warmth and dryness, try to water your azaleas a day or two before trimming or fertilizing.
Water newly planted azaleas two to three times per week by hand-watering slowly and deeply. Hold the hose at the base of the plant, not on the foliage. Do not depend on sprinklers to supply the water needs of newly planted azaleas (or other plants).