The Q&A Archives: Rhododenrons- large, old

Question: I have 2 huge Rhodes.(15ft) I've been told I cant cut back to the previous knob,because theyre woody & will die. Is this true?If not could they be dug up and moved? I would possibly like to offer them to a landscaper. Please advise.
I was told I should enjoy them,that you can no longer find the large varieties.
Thank you.

Answer: You can rehabilitate your overgrown rhodies but it will take several years of patience and pruning. It's true, if you cut them back too severely - back to bare wood - they may not leaf out again, so your goal is to reduce their sizes over a period of years. Start by pruning a quarter to a third of the old stems very severely. Don't take them all out-the plant must have leaves to live on. Keep the plant watered and feed it moderately after you have pruned. New growth should come from the severed stems and begin to make leaves. The following year, take out some more old stems and repeat until you have the plant growing strongly at a new, reduced height. Best wishes with your rhodies!

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