Azalea Help! To Prune or not to Prune

One of my first Bonsai was a “Ron Kuzon” Azalea. I feel that I may be losing it and wish to save it. I was not very smart and did not enough research on the type of plant before repotting in early to mid May. I probably should have waited till next early spring. I feel like the recent heat waves have fried the plant. I am doing a soak currently of it out of pot and plan to replant it with fresh soil and try to save it. Should I prune the roots before repotting? They have never been done to the plant before, but I read that it should be done between March-May or after the tree is finished with its bloom. Theb one in question is pictured below. The leaves are still green, but very crunchy!

For now, I have repotted with new azalea soil, rock topping until I can get some moss, and removed the dead dry leaves so it can thrive. All the roots and branches are very healthy, so my hopes in this plant have been restored! Any other tips are still welcomed!

That’s great the tree has recovered - that’s a good sign! The best time to repot azaleas is, as you noted, at the end of winter or early spring. Repotting post-bloom (if the azalea is a satsuki azalea) is also an option, but it’s easier for the tree to recover from repotting if the work is done in early spring.

As for pruning, the roots are pruned, at least a little, in almost every repotting. The branches don’t need to be pruned if the tree is repotted in spring, but they would need to be pruned if the tree is repotted in summer. That said, if you’ve already repotted and the leaves all look healthy, you’re likely good to go for now.

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