Timing Fertilizer /Pruning for Rhodys
I planted five different rhododendron shrubs last fall. These were Chionides (white flower), Catawbiense Grandiflorum (purple flower), Capistrano (yellow flower), Vulcan Flame (red flower) and Roseum Elegans (pink flower).
Spring is approaching and I would like to know when the best time to fertilize these plants is.
Also I am very interested in promoting flower production year after year while controlling growth by pruning. Ideally I would like to enjoy a crop of flower production each year, and immediately after blooming do the pruning to manage the growth. This obviously will require expertise on timing fertilization and pruning, and how to prune. I donÂt think I will be doing any mayor pruning since these were planted last year, but I still need to learn this information. They are currently 2 feet tall, and I would like to keep the plant size to no more than 5 feet.
I read that they should not be fertilized later than June for central NJ. If they are fertilized late the new growth will not get to mature to a bud before the cold weather arrives in the fall. Bud formation is what turns into a flower the following year.
I will greatly appreciate your advice.