#3. Maintenance pruning simply means that the plant is pruned to maintain its health while removing the dead flowers and wood. This form of protection will keep the wind and sun off, but will not cut off air flow or trap heat, which can be harmful to the plant. Key Potted Rhododendron facts. Maddenia and vireyas grown indoors tend to get straggly if not hard pruned every few years. As a general rule, rhododendrons are pruned early in the spring after the last frost so the cuts have time to heal. hedge shears. Pruning immediately after the blooming period is standard practice. Back to Rhododendron Garden Tips. For most shrubs, shearing will eliminate the shrub’s natural form, will reduce the amount of foliage and flowers in the shrub’s interior, and will cause a proliferation of shoots that will make the shrub unsightly. Cut out 25% of the old stems to ground level each year to keep the shrub looking tidy, and youthful. This type of fertilization should be done three or four times per year, starting in April and ending by the mid-July. Here it is discussed how and when Rhododendrons and azaleas should be pruned. 0 errors found: 0. When should rhododendrons be pruned? Thinning the flowers also can improve the quality and placement … Get our latest news by Greenmail. The answer to both is, "It depends." A 2-4″ thickness of bark or needle mulch should surround the plant at least as far out as its drip line. There are, however, two advantages to heavy pruning. When to prune evergreen shrubs. Know which type of rhododendron you intend to prune. Pruning Rhododendrons. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. Prune just beyond it; new shoots should appear from the new end of the branch. If a young rhododendron is leggy, pinch the terminal leaf buds in the spring. When pruning rhododendrons for yearly maintenance, they will need to be pruned in late winter while the plant is dormant. Plants in warm, relatively frost-free southern climates can be pruned in late winter, while plants in colder northern climates may stay dormant longer. Figure 2. One of the most frequent questions of people new to rhododendrons is whether they should be pruned, and if so, when? There should be little or no need to prune. Step 1: When to Prune. Beyond that, holly is too diverse to give a general answer to this question, so here are some examples. If an older plant is leggy, prune farther down the branch. Related Questions. Caryopteris x clandonensis should be hard pruned at this time; Viburnum x bodnantense types - as soon as finished flowering. One of the most frequent questions of people new to rhododendrons is whether they should be pruned, and if so, when? Hard pruning also covered. Rhododendrons do not need to be pruned every year -- only when you need to shape your plant or help promote growth because it is looking too leggy, with too much branch showing. The plant likely will survive one-shot surgery, even make a strong recovery, but it is no way to treat an old friend. With Rhododendron plants, the most important pruning you can do is dead-heading the old buds before they go to seed. Some types of rhododendrons, such as fastigiatum, do not require much pruning, while other types, such as rigidum, may need to be pruned within the first two years. Reply. Discover rhododendrons. In the second year after the harsh pruning, many more branch tips will produce flower trusses and by the third year, the shrub should be full and lush, producing numerous and widespread flowers all over. This pruning can be done after rhododendrons have finished blooming. Rhododendrons don’t require much pruning other than the removal of dead wood and deadheading of spent flowers if practical. For container-grown rhodendrons and azaleas, replace the top layer of soil, or repot completely in spring and feed with an ericaceous fertiliser. This preserves the current seasons bloom, and allows time for the plant to produce flower buds for next years bloom. Most of the soil, all of the rainwater and all of the ground water in southeastern Wisconsin is basic or alkaline. Prune just beyond it; new shoots should appear from the new end of the branch. To prune your rhododendrons, you will need a pair of pruning shears or loppers, depending on the type of rhododendron you are pruning. Rhododendrons may also be pruned in the late winter when they are dormant. … Or your rhododendrons could die of old age. Initially, the soil the plant is installed into should be amended to make it more acidic and to increase the amount of organic matter in the soil. 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