I have a rhododendron (see attached picture) which I inherited when I bought...

Asked April 7, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

I have a rhododendron (see attached picture) which I inherited when I bought the house; it seems more like a tree. It is quite leggy and seems to be overgrown. Also, it does not produce many flowers and the leaves are yellow in some areas. It also looks like something is eating the leaves. I have not had the soil tested yet, but will do so is you think that is wise. I would like to know what I can do to make it healthier and to produce more blooms. I would also like to know about pruning back the large, leggy branches. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Howard County Maryland pruning landscape plants shrubs

1 Response

Rhododendrons do handle pruning well so go ahead and prune back the leggy branches. Also prune out any diseased, dead or damaged branches. Usually you prune rhododendrons after they bloom, but since yours does not bloom well do it now before it puts out its flush of growth. It does look a little off-color perhaps because it is close to the foundation. Testing the soil in the bed is a good idea. This will let you know the pH and provide a fertilizer recommendation. For information on soil testing go to the following link on our website, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing Under HG 110 look on the last page for the list of soil testing labs. The feeding damage on the leaves is not a major concern. This will not affect the overall health of the shrub.