How to Prune an Overgrown Rhododendron Without Hurting It

28 May

How to Prune an Overgrown Rhododendron Without Hurting It

You’ve got a rhododendron blooming with beautiful flowers, but it’s overshadowing everything else from your yard. Perhaps all you see is rhododendron when you look out your front window. Don’t feel bashful about taking your own loppers for it; it will likely end up more beautiful and healthier than ever before. But first, decide what your objective is: Do you want the rhododendron to take a different shape, to be fitter, not to encroach on your plants alone or would you just wish to start over from scratch?

Prune rhododendrons immediately after flowering. Use hand clippers for smaller branches up to 1/4 inch, and loppers for larger branches up to 1 inch in diameter. An overgrown rhododendron might have developed thick branches. A pruning saw will take care of branches a inch or wider.

Cut branches of various lengths as opposed to try to make an unnatural symmetrical form. Rhododendrons appear best when their natural, asymmetrical growth pattern inspires the pruning strategy. Search for buds and make your cuts just over them to support healthy growth on that branch.

Prune the overgrown rhododendron for superior health and to fit into its allotted space first. These cuts will enable your rhododendron fit in your landscape better and remove the need for much more drastic cuts. Cut dead branches and branches which encroach on other plantings, structures, or walkways.

Reduce the plant over a period of several years with a renewal pruning approach. Prune up to one third of the stems every year for three years until the rhododendron is a more appealing and the suitable size for your landscape.

Cut the whole rhododendron off at ground level if other alternatives do not influence a massive enough change. Take this step early in the spring. Eliminate fertilizer to your rhododendron, but continue to irrigate year-round. Expect the plant to take at least two years to develop back to a attractive dimension. If the plant is in bad health, then you risk splitting it with this approach, so weigh the risks carefully.

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