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Hampshire, United Kingdom Gb

I've uploaded some pictures of plants in Norman's garden - see About Me! Could anyone please tell me what flowers are in the garden, and any other useful information about what's in my pictures? I need to cut back the plants in these pictures, but I really want them to survive.



Hallo Lubytuesday, and welcome to GOY. I have made some comments as requested. As to pruning the azaleas, I consulted my RHS book, and pruning is not recommended.

I can't grow them as my soil isn't acid - maybe someone else could help you with some advice as to how to deal with them.

12 Apr, 2010


Hmm ok that isn't particularly good news. Anyone an Azalea expert?! Thank you Spritzhenry. Thank you so much.

12 Apr, 2010


On a brighter note, I've just read an article in my gardening magazine which says you CAN prune them! So - as you say, you need a GOY expert to advise you.

12 Apr, 2010


I've just bought my first gardening magazine today! Amateur Gardening. It was either that or Gardener's World, so....calling all GOY Azalea Experts!!!

12 Apr, 2010


Ive grown some Belgian Indicas, Southern Indicas, and Rutherfordianas. I probably couldn't ID individual varieties (there are so many), but I might be able to help with care.

13 Apr, 2010


Thanks Tugbrethil.

13 Apr, 2010


Most of what I saw in the pictures look like standard evergreen azaleas. There is some variation in the types, but by and large you use hedge shears right after they bloom to keep them compact, and to prevent seed formation. They can be formally sheared, but they often look better in a more naturalistic, "lumpy" style. Re-blooming types, like some of the Rutherfordianas, should then be left alone, but once-blooming types can be pruned again, if needed, in late summer. Leave ample time from the last shearing, until chilly nights stop growth and cause bud formation--happens in October here, probably much sooner where you are.

If serious size reduction is wanted, then cut about 1/3 of the main stems deep in the bush, to form scattered holes in the canopy of leaves. Those holes will let in sunlight to encourage a brush of growth in the interior of the bush. Cut out another 1/3 next summer, then the last 1/3 the summer after. By that time, the sprouts from the first cut should be mature and blooming. You can cut it all back at once, but that will stop bloom for 2-3 years, and stands a 20% chance of killing an old bush.

Hope this helps!

14 Apr, 2010


Wow that really does help thank you. So we are in Spring now - we've had some hot days that are not usual for this time of year. April is normally sunny, but cold, and rainy too. The azaleas are massive and look like they have just been left for many years - they have completely overgrown!!

I will try as you suggest and cut some "holes" in the canopy to let the light in. The inside of the azalea looks dead because it is all wood! I know this is just because they aren't getting any light.

If the plant is very large can I cut the flowering leaves back to reveal the wood or is this going to kill the bush?

You mention the best time to cut them is after they have flowered - so do I wait for the flowers to go brown (from their pink colour when they are in full bloom) before pruning the bush? Or cut them back when they are in full bloom?

Thank you so much for your advise.

14 Apr, 2010


Prune AFTER the flowers have died....I know that much, even if i don't grow azaleas. lol. Glad you've got some helpful advice, Luby.

14 Apr, 2010


Thanks Spritz - some of my questions probably will make true gardeners lol as I'm pretty clueless! Got given a Money Tree yesterday though, which is rather cute. Someone had grown it in liquid fertiliser - another mystery to me, so I really am learning something brand new every day.

14 Apr, 2010


Nobody will mind 'what' you ask, Luby - I've had to ask a question today about something that's new to me! :-)))

14 Apr, 2010


I wouldn't reveal too much wood. Bald branches sometimes die. When "hedging", I usually just trim the outer several cm, leaving lots of foliage. And Spritzhenry is completely correct: there are no silly questions.

16 Apr, 2010


Thanks guys.

22 Apr, 2010

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