Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Pruning PJM Rhododendron

Posted by gardenspuds CA- SF Bay area (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 16, 10 at 12:37

I planted two PJM Rhododendrons in summer 2008. The plants were in 2 1/2 gallon pots, and because it was at the end of the season in the nursery, I got the last two plants. Looked healthy with lots of leaves, but a bit leggy (not enough to make me not bring them home).

This is the second spring with lots of blooms, but this year, the plants look more leggy and seem to not have as many leaves as last year, leaves are mostly towards the tops of the branches. The plants did develop the beautiful mahogany leaves both winters they've been in the ground.

The two plants are planted near a hill which get complete shade in the winter, and about 6 hours of sun in the summer. We live in the woods, so except for a few hot days in the summer around 90, most days are in the high 70's, low 80's in the summer.

I read varying things about pruning, mostly don't prune rhododendron. Would it be proper in this case to prune the Rhododendrons to make them more bushy since they haven't been in the ground a long time? Each plant is about 2 1/2 feet x 2 1/2 feet and have shown good growth since being planted. They each have 5 or 6 major branches at the base of the plant that are maybe 3/4"-1" thick, then branch into many more thinner branches, getting quite twiggy at the top where the flower buds are.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pruning PJM Rhododendron

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 16, 10 at 13:04

Probably your problem is powdery mildew, same as up here. I see plenty of this cultivar that have been made thin by this problem - along with numerous other kinds.

Cutting them back will just add insult to injury. In fact, I have found that lopping badly mildewing rhododendrons may even hasten their demise. The new, adventitious shoots that sprout on the stems below the cuts mildew more severely than the older growth that was cut off.

And die.

The worst results have been with 'Unique'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Information on Rhododendron -- Powdery Mildew, An Online Guide to Plant Disease Control, Oregon State University

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here