Is it ok to prune an azalea which has recently been transplanted but is also infested with lace bugs? About a month ago I acquired three azaleas from a friend who was landscaping. Long story short, I've discovered they are infested with lace bugs but the plants are so full I cannot seem to get the insecticide on the top and bottom of every leaf to get the infestation under control. I'm less concerned about losing blooms next year and more concerned about the combination of transplant in August and lace bugs killing the plants off entirely. Any advice would be much appreciated. Winter is coming. Will the lace bugs die? Would I be better off leaving the plants be, keep them well watered for new root growth and address the lace bug issue in spring? Or do I cut them way back and allow all new foliage to grow on its own? If so, will their ability to grow back be hindered by the recent transplant? So lost...
Pruning Recently Transplanted Azalea
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Water the plants well, to get them established before winter.
Water from below. Adding 2 to 3 inches of hardwood mulch will help with moisture retention.
To deal with the Lace bugs, I would use Neem Oil and use it weekly until the insects are under control.
Here is a link with more information.
You can go ahead and prune the plant but I would not remove more than 1/3 of the plant now.