Saturday, November 14, 2009

Is spring a good time to prune rhododendrons?

I am in southern New England.


Is spring a good time to prune rhododendrons?
Alright... good question!

In New England you have a "problem", your Rhododendrons grow. In inhospitable Michigan, they "survive", but only if we help them out. Pruning here is rare... because you're just happy as a clam that they've survived the winter.

The theory is the same though...

Rhododendrons set their flower buds in the summer, for the following year. So pruning in the fall and in the spring spells certain disaster. After the plant is through blooming, a 'spurt' of growth occurs. This is vegetative growth. Once these sprouts begin to turn dark green, then is the time to prune. Cut back the sprouts, leaving one or two leaves on each... this will leave 'lateral buds' to develop later. In mid-summer, the plants put on a second flush of growth, these sprouts set the flower buds... you cannot prune at this time. By pruning in this method, you train the plant to grow more compact... and produce more flower buds. Win-Win

Good luck with your Rhododendron... though you hardly need the luck, in climate blessed New England.

(thinly veiled jealousy barely concealed I'm sure)
Reply:Not untill fall. If it is a small shrub %26amp; you prun now you might not get any blooms.
Reply:No don`t prune them in the spring as they already have buds on to prune them in the late fall.
Reply:Spring and fall are the only good time to ever prune any trees or bushes.
Reply:Wait until after they bloom and then prune.
Reply:No, the flowerbuds are already set and if you prune now you will not have any flowers this season. Prune a rhodie after it blooms and clip off the spent flowers.
Reply:Rhodies set their buds soon after they bloom in the spring so if you trim them now, you will be cutting off all of the buds. They will be sad, you will be sad:( but next year, you will have a nice full bush. Or wait until they bloom and then be merciless! (And you won't have to deadhead them)

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