1. Life & Culture

Timely Tendings: Prune azaleas to keep them from getting leggy

Pruning will keep azaleas less leggy

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 if necessary (February, May, August and November). 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.

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.

Start 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.

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