The Q&A Archives: Pruning Rhododendrons

Question: I have 2 rhododenronds, 3 years old, that are rather "leggy". Is it possible to prune these to encourage a fuller growth? If so, how?

Answer: Keep in mind that in some cases rhododendrons grow leggy when they are stretching for more sunlight. Some varieties are also simply taller and slimmer in their natural shape. To encourage bushiness, trim them immediately after blooming. (Pruning later in the season will limit the next year's flowering.) You will notice that the plant subsequently branches at the location of each cut; if you prune lightly each year you will regularly force additional branching. You can also selectively cut back individual branches to force the plant to branch from lower down.

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