pruning pmj rhodendrons

Asked May 20, 2020, 5:46 PM EDT

My rhodendron is getting tall and had only a few flowers this spring. It is healthy and has a nice deep green color. I'm thinking it should be pruned and would like some advice on the proper method. It has been in this location north side many years and usually flowers well

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Yes you can prune your rhodo. Best not to remove more than 1/3rd of the plant each year to avoid plant stress. Now would be a good time if it has already flowered. Early flowering varieties of plants were challenged by this year's lingering late cold, frosts and freezes, which could have been your problem this year. It should also be fertilized each year with an acidic applicable fertilizer for rhodos, again right after flowering. Rhodos also benefit from deadheading but be very careful not to remove the new growth alongside of the spent flower. Bottom line....everything you do to a rhododendron should be done right after flowering and leave the plant alone the rest of the year.

Read more here: https://www.rhododendron.org/v34n3p125.htm