Rhododendron – Pruning

Q: My rhododendrons are three free tall and full of pink blooms. I noticed that after last season’s flowers were gone, there didn’t seem to be much foliage. Should I trim the rhododendrons back after flowering?

A: If they are the right size for their space, there is no need to prune them back to make denser foliage. Instead, after each bloom has faded, twist off the flower base with your thumb and forefinger. This will result in two or three new sprouts that will each make new leaves and a bloom next year. Be sure soil around the rhododendron is mulched to keep it cool and moist. I also recommend you feed the shrubs at least twice this year: now and in early June plus maybe in September if you want them to grow a bit larger.

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