When to Prune Encore Azaleas

November 27, 2009 | By | Comments (15)

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Question from Jack: My Encore azaleas are now blooming. When and how do I trim them, especially the long branches sticking up?

Grumpy’s 100% correct answer: Encores bloom in both fall and spring, so if you prune them now, you won’t get flowers in spring. What you should do is prune them immediately after they finish blooming next spring. You  can cut back the long branches then. Click here for more info on pruning presented by the Encore people. They bloom in spring and fall too.


  1. Steve Bender

    If the old blooms are brown, just pick them off.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm
  2. Carolyn

    MY Encore Azaleas has bloomed beautifully this last fall b ut the blooms don’t seem to fall off. Is there something that I need to do?

    February 4, 2013 at 7:23 am
  3. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    You can cut them back quite a bit without injuring them. The question I have is whether they are planted in the right place. You might want to consider moving them this fall after they finish blooming to somewhere where they have more room to grow.

    November 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm
  4. Marilyn

    I have 7 very large azaleas in my front and side yard. They are approximately 10 feet long and 5 feet high. They are beautiful flowers but getting far too large. How far can I cut them back without killing them, or what should I do with them. Dig part of them up and replant or what pleae help.

    November 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm
  5. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    Jo Ann,
    You can prune out dead stuff anytime. It doesn’t make a difference. As far as pruning back live branches, I would wait until late fall to do this. This will give them a chance to at least flower a little bit this fall. It will reduce spring flowering, but it sounds like your plants need the attention.

    September 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm
  6. Jo Ann Jones

    I have 7 Encore Azaleas that are really in bad shape. This summer has really taken a toll on them. I really need to do some pruning & cutting out some dead limbs. I know this should be done in the spring but I am desperate. Will it be O.K. to do this work (9/18/10) or should I just leave them alone and hope for the best. Thanks, Jo Ann

    September 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm
  7. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    You are obviously a sophisticated and quite intelliegent person.

    May 19, 2010 at 8:04 am
  8. karen

    thank you for the response. I’ve only had it a year so will leave it alone. I really enjoy your articles in the magazine as well as the online content

    May 18, 2010 at 8:31 am
  9. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    A few suggestions.
    1. Make sure it’s not too shady. Azaleas planted in deep shade don’t bloom. They do better in half-sun/half-shade.
    2. Try giving your plant some azalea/camellia fertilizer at the rate recommended on the label.
    3. If the soil where it’s planted is poor and rocky, you’ll probably need to move it to better soil this fall. Azaleas like fertile, acid soil that contains lots of organic matter.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:39 am
  10. Theresa Jackson

    I planted an azalea plant two summers ago. It is not dead but it does not grow. It will get 1 to 2 flowers on it and then it turns yellow. Could you give me some advice on how to save it. Thank you Theresa

    May 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm
  11. Grumpy Gardener (His Grace)

    That’s a hard question, because some Encores naturally grow more open than others. If you’ve had this plant for several years and it seems pretty leggy, I would prune it back now.

    May 10, 2010 at 8:13 am
  12. Karen

    Question: SHOULD you prune the long branches to correct the shape of the plant? Or will the plant eventually fill out on it’s own?

    May 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm
  13. Grumpy Gardener (aka His Excellency)

    Encores don’t need regular pruning, as you say. But if for some reason you feel compelled to do it, late spring is the time.

    November 28, 2009 at 10:47 pm
  14. Deirdre

    Call me old fashioned, but I’m not sure I want Lilacs, azaleas, and iris in the fall. To everything there is a season.

    November 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm
  15. Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

    My Encore azaleas have been blooming for over two months this fall. They look amazing right now! The blooms in spring last at least a month as well. I’ve not yet pruned mine (4 years old).

    November 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm

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