How do you get rid of overgrown azalea bushes?

by Bus28125841

We have 3 overgrown azalea bushes in our front yard, I need suggestions on how to get them removed or can they be cut back? They have beautiful blooms but hide the screened in porch area. I also need suggestions on what I can plant for the zone I live in to update the front of the house. I live in Shallotte, NC very close to the ocean so get some salt breeze.

Bushes in front of our house

  11 answers
  • 16999903 16999903 on Aug 31, 2018

    Hello Bus! Here is a video from NC that might help you next spring. I LOVE would break my heart to take them out. Hopefully pruning them back might solve both problems.

  • Franklinrawley Franklinrawley on Aug 31, 2018

    you can cut these back easily. these bushes LOVE to grow big and it is a shame that more folks dont look at a plant and try to vision these in a 19+ year span. Get the BIG pruning clippers out and cut them back to about 2 feet tall. you can cut these out, but I would wait until the blooms have happened - if these are fall bloomers. Try to do this in September or October so the sap is slowing down. Best of luck!

  • Alice E Marson Alice E Marson on Aug 31, 2018

    If you trim them back it has to be done right after they bloom, otherwise, you lose the blooms the next spring.

  • Bus28125841 Bus28125841 on Aug 31, 2018

    Thank you but I think we will trim them back this fall and see what happens. They are looking bad now.

  • Pamela Blunt Pamela Blunt on Aug 31, 2018

    Most counties have Cooperative Extension programs with websites and they have lots of info on what grows in the area where they are located, plus great free advice on caring for plants (including what to do with your azaleas.)

  • Wendy Wendy on Nov 08, 2018

    I once Purchased a home w/ sadly-shaped azaleas, looked like brownies, all boxy and ugly. They were old, huge. It broke my heart, but I waited for a very rainy week and attached a chain to the jeep and one to a loosened azalea. Due to tremendously soggy Earth, It worked. It was a mess. It's been 25 years and I still feel sad when I drive by that house and see that space. Try to keep them. Prune them way way way back after each bloom. If they are spring bloomers, you will lose the bloom if you prune now.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 16, 2023

    Use a truck and pull them out by the roots. That is if you are serious when it comes to getting rid of them.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 16, 2023

    We had several of these bushes and after the blooms (they never seem to bloom long enough) all we had was scraggly branches that scraped our legs if we got too close. Taking them out was a chore and a half, the roots were tightly embedded in the mud and did not want to let go. It took a lot of determination to physically remove them.

  • If you want to keep them, cut them back.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 18, 2023

    Hello Bus: You can trim them back to a workable size. Here are a couple of sites that may help:

    How to Prune Azaleas - Bing video

    When and How to Prune Azaleas - Bing video

    The Complete Guide To Pruning Azaleas (

    They are beautiful bushes, and I'd keep them :)

    Good luck

  • Dee Dee on Aug 18, 2023

    If it's an azalea, you're in luck because azaleas have shallow roots, are easy to dig up, and recover quickly from the stress of moving. Even mature azaleas can be moved if you are careful to minimize damage to the root systems.