Pruning a Rhododendron

gmom74April 27, 2006

We have a very tall, very leggy Roseum Elegans that I would like to make shorter. There were few blooms this year- maybe because of too little sun. But my real question is will new growth break out on the trunk or along the cut stems? Just pruning the stems back to new growth will not help much since there is almost no new growth inside the plant.

Thanks for your help.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Yes, there are adventitious buds under the bark which will break dormancy and sprout if the plant is pruned back. The traditional rule of thumb is to only remove 1/3 or less of the leaves with each pruning. People have pruned healthy plants way back successfully. If you prune after mid summer you will loose flower buds. It is best to prune immediately after the bloom is finished. I would also use a good fertilizer like HollyTone now to encourage growth after pruning.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 12:00AM
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gmom74

Thanks, rhodyman- I will look at the nursery for HollyTone, too. All my azaleas need a boost, I think, as well as the rhododendrons.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 9:49AM
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