What do I do with these Azaleas

I have just moved house. When I viewed in the summer there were some beautiful Azalea bushes in the garden all in full bloom and looking gorgeous. 
Ice spent the last couple of weeks unpacking boxes and have now got round to investigating the garden!  I started to rake leaves and got to where the Azaleas were. The beautiful bushes are now reduced to what look like soggy piles of wet brown leaves, flat and messy looking probably due to the downpours we have had recently.
I know nothing about gardening but am going to have to learn fast. What do I do with these Azaleas?  Do I leave them as they are and will they return to there former glory in the spring or should I be doing something else? They look just like a pile of soggy leaves waiting to be raked and scooped up.


  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
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    Azaleas normally flower April/ May. They are deciduous with woody stems.
    Clear away all the dead leaves and the stems left should burst into growth in the spring.
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741
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    There are evergreen azaleas too, but both kinds need acidic soil for preference and they won't survive on alkaline.
    Our azalea in a pot looked like yours a month ago so I pruned it lightly and put it to bed after checking for vine weevil. Should be OK in a sheltered place.
  • Thank you both for the replies. These are i the garden and not in pots. Ive walked past the house many times over the past few years and they are always lovely to see during the summer as they were when we viewed the house. They are great big bushes which reach to the top of the fence but at the moment there is nothing to see other than a few stalks and a load of dark brown leaves which are lay completely flat on the ground like a soggy mess so nothing really to start pruning. 
    I will just wait till the spring and hope they emerge again. I know they have been here for a good few years but the house has stood empty for the last 9 months so perhaps they have been too neglected.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,300
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    edited 26 November 2020 at 9:54PM
    They are probably fine. You can test to see if they are living by lightly scraping your nail along the bark.
    If the wound is green or even yellow they are fine. If brown all the way through they are not.
    Being such large bushes I wouldn't expect them to suddenly expire. They should be old enough and tough enough to survive on their own.
    Twine some fairy lights round them for winter to cheer up the bare stems ;)

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