Friday, April 20, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely tendings: When to prune azaleas

Azaleas should be pruned when they finish blooming. Even the small dwarf varieties benefit from pruning, which stimulates new growth, eliminates leggy growth 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 an ordinance-compliant summer product that contains no nitrogen or phosphorous. Use a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

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.

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

Source: Theresa Badurek, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit our website at . Go on Facebook to get regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas at