Azaleas are typically pruned after blooming up to early summer. The perfect time to prune azaleas is when the spring blooms begin to fade and shrivel. Azaleas bloom on year-old wood, so late pruning can negatively affect next year's flowers.
This gardening task requires hand clippers and loppers to prune the azaleas. Hand clippers work on limbs under 1/2 inch in diameter and loppers work on limbs up to 1.5 inches in diameter. Azaleas must not be sheared. Azaleas look best with minimal pruning to retain a natural form. The gardener can reach into the center of the plant to remove any unsightly long shoots close to the base. If the azalea is too large for its space, it can be pruned down to 1 foot in height.