Some of my azaleas have a pretty good case of lacebugs, especially on the ones that get the most sun. Since the plants are 20+ years old, I am trying to save them. I have cut them back to reduce their size in order to reduce the amount of spraying I must do. How much can I cut them back? I plan to begin spraying this weekend.
Lacebugs and Pruning
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can cut it back, it will take pruning to as much as 6-12″ to the ground. Azaleas are actually a hardy shrub. I've had them for many years and cut them back whenever they become too big or straggly. Doing this causes no harm to the plant. The only time NOT to but them back is when the blooms have started appearing on the branches, after the cold weather is gone, as this would keep them from blooming in the spring. The best time to cut them back is right after the blooms have fallen off.