Azaleas are relatively care free. To ensure they look their best they require adequate moisture. Make sure the roots in particular get plenty of water especially during the first year or so. Mulch is important, two or three inches of horticultural mulch like straw or pine bark will help protect their roots, which grow close to the top of the soil. They don't need to be pruned. If you want to shape or remove dead wood, wait until after they bloom. By doing it at this time the dead wood is easily identified and there is no worry about cutting off flower buds. Rather than shearing, remove entire branches. This will provide a more natural appearance. They can tolerate heavy pruning. But don't do too much to them, careful neglect is all they need.
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