Pruning Rhododendrons - Knowledgebase Question

Wellesley, MA
Avatar for chrisbau
Question by chrisbau
February 3, 1998
I have several neglected rhodies around my new house and have read conflicting reports on how to "renew" them. Could I prune them hard and expect them to grow back in 3 or 4 seasons? Or should I prune lightly and just try to reshape?

Answer from NGA
February 3, 1998
To rejuvenate "gangly" older plants you can cut a third of the stems back to a foot or so each spring. Do this for three springs until you have renewed the entire shrub. To encourage heavier flowering (the results of which you will see the nextseason), remove spent flowers at their base, just above the new buds.

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