• 86°

Darrell Blackwelder column: Pruning old azaleas

Even though the newer Encore-type azaleas are very popular, traditional azaleas are still very popular and are again rapidly growing. These oldies need a little pruning to prepare for another glorious bloom season next year. July is generally the last month you can prune older-type azaleas as they generally set their blooms in mid-August. If you prune later this summer, you will remove much of the next spring’s flowers. Judicious pruning is encouraged to keep the plants vigorous for next season’s bloom. Avoid using electric pruning shears as these tend to leave jagged cuts; an open invitation to insects and disease problems. Utilize sharp pruners to make your cuts. Lone stems with woody growth clusters need to be pruned back into the body or center of the plant to a healthy stem. It’s important not to leave stubs after the pruning cut. Pruning growth back to healthy stems allows additional growth in the summer and fall for more blooms in the spring. Pruning paint is generally not recommended and will not be of any benefit to the pruned shrub. August is also the last month to add fertilizer to your azaleas. Special azalea foods increase vigor and spring blooms. Avoid fertilization in the fall as newly formed succulent growth is often damaged by frigid temperatures in late winter and early spring.

Newer Encore-type azaleas bloom twice a year in the spring and fall. These types of azaleas need to be pruned immediately after the spring flowering for maximum bud set.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu.

Comments

Local

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus

Local

Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work

Local

Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread

Cleveland

Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players

Business

Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs

Lifestyle

Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue

Lifestyle

Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours

Coronavirus

Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics

College

College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith

College

Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC

Business

Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair

Nation/World

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Nation/World

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

Nation/World

French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate

News

State briefs roundup

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for robbery in Cleveland

Crime

Blotter: South Carolina man arrested after attempting to purchase dog with stolen credit card

Local

Carolyn Hurley remembered as giving person

News

Stay-at-home orders cut into commercial fishermen’s catch last year

News

Two bodies found after helicopter goes down off NC coast

Nation/World

Unlikely partners: Pelosi, Cheney team up for Jan. 6 probe

Crime

Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting customer near Knightdale