It did better this year because I didn’t prune it on top, but of course, it covers my window again and I can’t wait to prune them off. Andrew Salmon is a summer editorial intern. Trimming rhododendrons is typically done for maintenance, shaping, and rejuvenation- as is the case for overgrown plants. You will have to be a lot more aggressive and go a bunch deeper into the shrub, say cut back some of the branches one to two feet into the interior of the shrub. A couple turned their passion for agriculture and love of North Carolina into Mike's Farm, a holiday destination for families across the state. I’m not saying installing some sort of screen between the plant and the prevailing wind can’t be useful the first winter, while it’s still acclimatizing to local conditions, but from then on, no winter protection should be necessary. They far exceed the dimensions you saw on the label when you bought it and probably used when calculating where to place it. “Even though you can severely prune your rhododendrons, it’s not something you can do all in one year if you want it to rejuvenate correctly,” Teasley says. The easiest style of pruning is trimming off any dead or dying parts of your rhododendron with pruning shears. The 1 st thing you want to do is prune any branches that are sticking out of the outline profile of the plant. Would you recommend any type of pruning on the larger shrubs to get them to fill out or should I cut them down and let the new growth establish new shrubs. 7. Almost perfectly round with lower growth only a foot off the ground. If I were to put the effort into cutting back a rhododendron, I would have left only about five stout canes, and not branched with all those stubs. Knarled old stump cut back drastically. I would like to know how I can tell which branches to cut so I can get back like it was. Here again drastic pruning comes into play, but this time just remove completely the lower branches growing at the front of the shrub and leave the vertical stems as they are. Change ). Pruning encourages the plant to grow back quickly, and that leaves it susceptible to disease and insect damage. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / “For example, if you have a small rhododendron and want to pop out the split blooms, you can use your hands. Have more questions? Pruning within the desired outline of the Rhododendron as opposed to pruning to the outline Always make the cut about a quarter of an inch above the rosette. The final thing you want to do is to pinch or snap off the new growth back when it’s a couple of inches long. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Cut branches back to expose the inner branches by following the wood down to the last whorl of leaves that you plan to keep. Some gardeners cut back even more severely, to 15 cm (6 inches) from the ground, but that sometimes backfires, the shock being so brutal that some plants don’t recover. Note this step is NOT necessary on PJM type Rhododendrons. The two larger ones are also putting up a bunch of new growth from the base. With a flexible spatula, remove strata to, In late spring and early summer, clusters of brilliant rhododendron blossoms, from stark white to cardinal red, are a familiar and lovely sight across North Carolina’s mountain peaks and balds. Remove the flower stems from the bush once the blooming season has ceased. Make sure you’re ready for this before you start chopping. The legendary wrestler once billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" made his home on a ranch in the small town of Ellerbe. The next year, another third. You will gradually be reducing the outline of the shrub over several years. 6. If the plant isn’t taking over the yard or blocking your view, the ideal time to take pruning shears to a healthy rhododendron is in late winter. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes. Teasley explains that, ideally, the process of severe pruning will take three years.