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by Harold E. Greer
DEADHEADING & PINCHING
Light pruning and shaping should be done every year at the time you deadhead (remove the spent flowers from the plant). This is an easy job if done on a yearly basis and will keep the plant compact and in good shape.
Deadheading is important so that the plant's energy goes to flower production for the coming year. Rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas benefit from deadheading, but it is not generally necessary for evergreen azaleas. Deadheading tidies the appearance of the plant, prevents seed production which wastes the plant's energy, and helps reduce disease and pest infestations.
Deadheading of spent flowers. This can
be done simply by snapping off
the old flower or by using pruners.
Same branch later in the season.
Single growth terminal
Multiple growth buds
form a short time after
single terminal bud
has been removed.
Also From Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons: