pruning a Rhodadendrum bush - Knowledgebase Question

Gainesville, Ge
Avatar for jimlee719
Question by jimlee719
June 30, 2009
I have a large Rhodadendrum bush that had an abundent amount of flowers on it. I was told that after the flowers fall off i should prune it back. Is it too late to do that now where it is almost July 1st. I do have a picture of it if you need to see it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Jim Rvans

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2009
Rhododendrons spend the summer months developing flower buds for next year's floral display, If your shrubs have already begun to deveop these buds, pruning now will remove them and you'll have fewer flowers next year. Look carefully at the old, spent flower trusses and see if you can find little buds on either side of the truss. If so, it's too late to prune. If not, you can safely prune. Or, if you see flower buds already developing you can prune every other branch back now and still get some flowers next year. Then next spring after the flowering has finished you can prune back the branches you didn't prune the year before. This way you'll be able to reduce the size of your rhodie without losing all the flowers. Good luck with your rhododendron.

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