The Q&A Archives: Rhododendrons

Question: Does any part of the rhododendron need to be picked off?
I have been told that the very center of the rhododendron's have to be removed, after it flowers. It looks like a miniature pinecone. My plant has not flowered yet, I have put special acidic fertilizer on it. I have had it two years. Please help if you can, I don't want to loose my plant.

Answer: Some gardeners remove the remains of the flower after it has bloomed and faded, being sure to take the central portion where seeds would be forming, when they do so. It is not strictly required, although it may help the plant look tidier and also conserve any energy that would have been devoted to seed formation. On the other hand, once the plant reaches a larger size, it is probably just impractical to try to do the job. It will not hurt your rhododendron to leave it be.

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