Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely Tendings: Prune azaleas after blooming

Azaleas should be pruned when they finish blooming. Even the small dwarf varieties benefit from pruning, which stimulates new growth, eliminates a leggy appearance and produces a bushier plant. Azaleas are generally fertilized four times a year (February, May, August and November). Those who missed the February fertilization can fertilize now to accelerate new growth, then skip the regular fertilization in May. The August fertilization will need to be done with a product that contains no nitrogen or phosphorous, in order to comply with a summer ordinance. Use a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

Start favorite summer annuals from seed

Winter annuals will soon need replacing. It's not too early to start spring and summer annuals from seed. It is usually best to start seeds in a fresh, sterile potting mixture. It takes four weeks or so before seedlings are ready to be planted in your garden. Rejuvenate the bed by raking out all leftover plant material and adding new organic matter.

Your blooming hibiscus can still be shaped

Hibiscus plants should be flourishing with new growth by now. There is still time to prune if you need to shape your plants.

Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit For tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas, go to