There is probably not a home in the Memphis area that doesn't have an azalea in the yard. Azaleas are easy to grow requiring shade or semi-shade, even moisture, and acidic soil with a pH around 5.5.

Pruning is easy and should be done for 4-6 weeks after flowering, any pruning after 6 weeks from the end of blooming and next years blooms could be removed. Azaleas grow in a whorl pattern like spokes in a wheel, so to reduce the size of a plant, cut the stem to the whorl where it originates. When reducing the height, no more than 1/3 of the plant should be removed in a season. Good luck and happy gardening.

By Robin Howell, MBG horticulturist