Hard pruning rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question

Lancaster, Ma
Avatar for themacleodfa
Question by themacleodfa
July 15, 2010
I have A large rhododendron about 35 yrs.old, about 6' tall and 8' wide.It has twiggy old stems and stocks about 1 1/2

Answer from NGA
July 15, 2010
Pruning your rhodie back that far is drastic, but I've seen it done and the shrubs do recover over time. Because yours is so well established (35 years is a long time for a rhodie) I don't think you'll kill it if you cut it back now. As long as the roots are healthy they will develop new growth. This may be in the form of new shoots directly from the root system or it may be that the remaining stems and branches will sprout new leaves. You can prune it now or you can wait until early next spring to prune it back. If you wait too long this summer to prune your rhodie, any new growth it develops may not have time to harden off before cold weather arrives. I'd prune it back now. Best wishes with your rhododendron.

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