Pruning Azaleas, Box-Woods And Gardenia

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I live in central Mississippi. When is the best time to prune my Azaleas, Box-woods and Gardenia please?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Paul-Azaleas are best pruned after their spring flowering. They set set new flower buds during the summer so pruning too late in the year may remove a lot of the new buds that were developing for spring blooming. You don't want to prune late summer or fall as the new growth may not have enough time to harden off and could be damaged by freezing temperatures. If you have a variety that blooms several times during the year you can prune lightly after each blooming period to encourage new growth. Flowers are produced on new growth so you may find it best to prune any Encore azaleas lightly after each blooming. I noted below a few links to articles on pruning azaleas. Just click on the links to go directly to the articles.

Boxwoods can be trimmed at any time of the year if you are trimming for shape or to keep them in bounds. Again like many shrubs it is best not to prune in the fall as the new growth may not have enough time to harden off before any freezing temperatures. Any hard pruning to reduce size or a rejuvenation pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth appears and after any freezing temperatures are expected.

Most Gardenias don't need to be pruned much every year. Any pruning needed to keep them a desired shape is best done after blooming in the summer. A few of my gardenias bloom off and on during the summer so I will do a light pruning after each flowering. Gardenias set their new flower buds in the late summer and fall so again you don't want to prune to late in the year. If your gardenias are getting spindly looking you can cut back the shrubs much shorter after their first bloom to get rid of any older less productive stems,damaged stems, or ones that are touching or crowding others without cutting away any newly set flower buds. I usually only have to prune my gardenias every couple of years to keep them the size and shape I like. Most of the time I only have to cut off some stems that are out growing the rest of the shrub and lightly prune for shape.

Please don't hesitate to ask any other questions you may have.


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