Florida is a large state, number 22nd. in an area out of the 50 states and number 3rd. in population. It is because of this surface that the climate is not the same in South, Central, and North Florida. Because of this, the pruning and frost season varies across Florida. In this article, I summarize how and when to prune azaleas in North Florida.
When I say that the weather varies throughout the state of Florida, I am referring to rainfall, temperatures, and frost. The frost dates are not the same for North Florida and South Florida. That is why azaleas in north Florida are not pruned at the same time as in south Florida.
Climate in North Florida
The climate of North Florida is classified as humid subtropical. This means that the area experiences hot summers and mild winters. Average maximum temperatures in the summer months of June, July, and August range from 90 °F to 95 °F (32 °C to 35 °C).
Average minimum temperatures in December, January, and February range from 40 °F to 50 °F (7 °C to 11 °C). The area also receives significant rainfall. Humidity levels are generally high throughout the year.
For example, the last frost of spring this year will be around February 14 in Jacksonville in North Florida. On the other hand, Orlando which is in Central Florida will have its last frost of spring on January 30. Although these dates are not spring, they are called “last spring frost” in the frost almanac.
With this brief explanation of the climatic differences between North and South Florida, it is important to mention that pruning is not the same throughout Florida. Continue reading to find out when to prune azaleas in North Florida.
When to Prune Azaleas in North Florida
When to Prune Azaleas in North Florida? If you prune Azalea shrubs in autumn, it will cause a decrease in the number of flowers that will bloom in the spring, because most types of Azaleas produce flower buds on the growth from the previous year.
So, When is the proper time to prune Azaleas in North Florida? The best time to prune azaleas in North Florida is immediately after the spring bloom. Prune once the flowers have faded and before the new buds emerge. By doing so, it allows the plant to develop new growth well in advance, which would lead to having more flowers in the following spring.
It is important to prune the azalea at the right time, a late pruning may cause it to have few flowers next year. That is why if you forget to prune the azalea, late pruning is not recommended. For one year if you do not prune the azalea, nothing will happen.
How to Prune Azaleas in North Florida
How to Prune Azaleas in North Florida? Azaleas should be pruned naturally, shaped azaleas do not look good in any garden. To prune azaleas, I recommend using pruning shears and a hand saw for thicker branches. Before you start pruning azaleas, make sure that the tools are disinfected and sharpened to make a perfect cut without damaging the azalea.
Japanese azalea grows more slowly than other azalea varieties and is normally pruned every 3 to 4 years. Other azalea varieties need to be pruned every year. The important thing is to always prune azaleas naturally and not to give them a rectangular shape as some gardeners do.
First, eliminate any stray branches that have grown too long by using a clipper and cutting them next to the bigger branches that are woody. The cuts should be inconspicuous as they will be covered by the surrounding leaves. This process will help increase the amount of light and airflow inside the shrub, which will lead to growth that is stronger and healthier.
Second, use loppers or hand saw to prune back thicker and bigger branches, cutting them to different lengths to create a shape that is similar to a cloud and rounded.
After the pruning is done, fertilize the Azalea with a fertilizer slow-release, such as a 14-7-7. Keep watering the plants you pruned frequently to promote new growth from the base.
By following these simple steps, you will know how and when to prune azaleas in North Florida correctly. This way next time you will have lots of beautiful flowers on your azalea.
In conclusion, pruning azaleas in North Florida should be done after they finish blooming, typically in late spring or early summer. Pruning at this time allows you to shape the plant, control its size, and promote healthy growth without removing potential flower buds.
I hope this article about how and when to prune azaleas in North Florida is helpful. If you would like to have flowers all year round in Florida, I recommend you to read our article about flowers that grow in Florida year-round.