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Prune rhododendron

Prune rhododendron
Posted on 18-7-2023 by Nina-Beheerder

How should I prune rhododendron?

Most garden professionals only prune a rhododendron if it grows too large, blooms poorly, or the leaves begin to turn yellow. A yellowing of the leaves is a tell-tale sign there is a shortage of nutrients or a lack of acidity in the soil. If your plant is showing signs of nutrient deficiency, then it is definitely time to give it a prune. Wherever you prune, you will see your plant begin to thrive with lush growth again. By pruning the bush extensively, you will see it return naturally to a full coverage of beautiful green leaves. Use a sturdy lopper, or sharp pruning saw when cutting your rhododendron. This is especially important for the thicker branches, and it will make them much more accessible to prune. As well as benefitting from a sharper cut with well-maintained garden tools, it can also help prevent spreading infections amongst the other plants in your garden. It is crucial when cutting rhododendron that you cut this plant above the wreath of the leaves. If there are no more leaves on the lower stems, look for an eye on the stalk and cut the branch just above it. The bush will automatically start re-sprouting from the eye. New flowers will also immediately form upon the new shoots.

When should I fertilise rhododendron

For a lush flourish of blooms and the healthy growth of a rhododendron, it is vital that it gets extra nutrition during the growing season. To accomplish this give it regular fertiliser in the period from April to October. Long-release fertilisers are best to be used in April, yet fast-acting fertilisers must be used more often. It is best to give the plant a little bit of manure every month during March, April, May, June and July. It is essential to not give the plant any more manure from the beginning of August so that the plant can prepare to hibernate for the winter. If the leaves of your rhododendron are becoming brown and dry though, chances are you are giving it too much manure.

When can I propagate rhododendron?

Successfully propagating rhododendron is not an easy job and the risk of failure is quite high. Summer is the best time of the year to take your cuttings. To propagate this garden plant, take a cutting off a year-old side shoot in mid-June. Remove the lower leaves, dip the bottom of the cutting in propagating powder and then place it into a small pot with potting soil. Wrap the pot with clear plastic, making sure it is completely covered. Place the plastic-wrapped container in a warm, shady place. After about four weeks the cuttings should have formed roots. At this point, they can now be re-potted.

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