HELP Pruning azaleas

The blossoms on the overgrown azaleas in my front yard have now fallen off, and I am ready to prune them back. I just bought this house and I am guessing that it has been 8-10 years since they were last pruned. Some are probably 7 feet tall, and completely block first floor windows.
I looked at the base of some of the plants, and many of the stalks are at least 1 inch in diameter. My question: How do I prune these plants and ensure that I don't kill them? Do I trim them back all the way to the 4-6 main shoots out of the ground? Do I leave those shoots intact, and just trim off the branches from the main shoots?
If I mess this up, my wife will divorce me.
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off,
are
Right now is the perfect time to prune them. Pruning azaleas is the same as all spring flowing shrubs. First get rid of all dead or diseased wood by cutting it back until you get to healthy wood. Next reduce the number of shoots starting from the inside. You can reduce it to 4-6, by half, or whatever you think it needs to look presentable again. After that, some people give flowering shrubs a flat-top, but I prefer to prune back in such a way as to retain the shrub's natural form. After pruning, fertilize them a couple of times with Azalea fertilizer before it gets really hot.
Don't worry about pruning them aggressively. You won't kill them. The worst thing that can happen is you might not get a good flowering next year, but this is usually the result of pruning too late. Perennial flowering shrubs only bloom on new growth. Your goal is to thin them out aggressively so they can put on lots of new growth.
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The advice below is very good and accurate. I have often cut azaleas from 6 feet down to 2 feet, and never lost a one. They are VERY hardy.
Good Luck !!
--James--
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Right now is the perfect time to prune them. Pruning azaleas is the same as all spring flowing shrubs. First get rid of all dead or diseased wood by cutting it back until you get to healthy wood. Next reduce the number of shoots starting from the inside. You can reduce it to 4-6, by half, or whatever you think it needs to look presentable again. After that, some people give flowering shrubs a flat-top, but I prefer to prune back in such a way as to retain the shrub's natural form. After pruning, fertilize them a couple of times with Azalea fertilizer before it gets really hot.
Don't worry about pruning them aggressively. You won't kill them. The worst thing that can happen is you might not get a good flowering next year, but this is usually the result of pruning too late. Perennial flowering shrubs only bloom on new growth. Your goal is to thin them out aggressively so they can put on lots of new growth.
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Thank you very much. I now know that the job I must do will hurt me alot more than it hurts the azaleas . . .

6
as
such
them
year,
aggressively
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