Cutting back azaleas


Old 05-12-05, 08:37 PM
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Cutting back azaleas

What is the best time of year to trim azaleas? They're so thick, they've just about smothered each other.

Also, when is a good time to cut back monkey grass?

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Old 05-14-05, 06:27 PM
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Prune azaleas immediately after they bloom so as not to remove next year's blossoms.

Usually one trims monkey grass in the late winter. This eliminates the old, tired growth in favor of the new growth of spring.
Old 05-17-05, 04:30 PM
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Azalea branches need to be selectively pruned. Use your hand pruners. Do not take hedge clippers to them. It's time consuming. But, you can remove the branches at their base to eliminate the stragglers and open up bushes to allow greater air circulation and sunlight into the bush. Prune after they bloom.

Monkey grass (mondo) is attractive year round and does not need mowing. Monkey grass is an evergreen grass. It is often confused with liriope. Both species need dividing and thinned in the spring. Slip and old knife into plant to remove sections of plant and replant them to propagate or share with friends and family. Old growth on both species can be cut back with kitchen shears, scissors, or, if really aggressive it can be mowed. But you don't want to remove the new growth.

Some gardeners shear or mow their monkey grass in late February or early March just before the new growth appears. You want to avoid doing this too soon so that you don't have to look at sheared monkey grass. Some people mow at highest mower setting if the edging or bed is not too thick. Others use string trimmer.

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