Newbie needs help with Old Rhodo

willtogrow(6)March 24, 2013

Hi all,
I am new to this forum.. moved into a lovely old home about 5 years ago. Everyplant is very old. The Rhododendrons in front of my house were fine for a few years, but now they are very leggy and bark is crusty and grey and I guess dying. I am not good at gardening, but wonder if I can cut the stems of the shrub down to 6" above grown and will they grow back? Some of the flowers do open and are beautiful, but stems are getting grey and woody. many thanks.
I live in Fairfield County, CT.
Barbara

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
akamainegrower

All rhododendrons develop woody stems with age. The photo shows nothing that would indicate this one is dying. In fact, it looks perfectly normal and healthy.

Usually old rhododendrons become leggy and produce only sparse blooms because they have become increasingly shaded by other plants over time. Increasing the amount of sunlight they receive by cutting back the growth that's shading them is the best cure. A soil test would also reveal any nutritional problems, although old rhododendrons with extensive root system rarely need fertilizer.

Radically cutting back an old rhododendron is an iffy proposition. Sometimes it works fine, especially if the plant receives enough sun, but it can also fail miserably. A safer course would be to cut back 1/3 and see how it goes. If it sprouts from the pruned areas, prune another 1/3 the followinng year, etc. It will, however, be many years before you're likely to see much bloom.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 5:48AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Houzz kills Garden Web utility
Houzz has just about killed the Garden Web. We can...
rhodyman
Most mini
I bought one purple blooming azalea years ago in Laconia...
coppice
Anybody out there have luck with Rhodos in Southern Arkansas?
Looking for any feedback from Houzz readers who have...
Rusty Empire
floral azelea question
I just got an azelea from a grocery and it looks like...
fievel38
How do I get rid of this growth on my azaleas?
How do I get rid of this growth on my azaleas? They...
63buglover
Sponsored Products
Honey-Can-Do Clothing Hangers Cherry Hotel Suit Hangers with Clips (24-Pack)
$45.12 | Home Depot
Bronze Vessel Sink
MR Direct Sinks and Faucets
Textured Lines Rug 12' x 15' - NAVY
$5,899.00 | Horchow
Zuo Modern Anguilla Aluminum Outdoor 30" High Bar Stool
Euro Style Lighting
Crystorama 9353-WW Parson Chandelier - 20W in. - Wet White - 9353-WW
$350.00 | Hayneedle
Smoked Pearl Organic Cotton Sheet Set
$59.99 | zulily
IMAX Links Photo Frames - Set of 3 - 25076-3
$71.98 | Hayneedle
Medley Hairhide Rug 5'3" x 7'5" - LEMON GRASS
$1,589.00 | Horchow
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™