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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #10

PAL Question 

I need to know what to do with a rhododendron that has grown too big. I want to keep it, since it is a bookend to another plant. Can I cut it back, and if so, how far and when? Will it be okay and continue to bloom if I cut it back? Could you suggest something and also suggest a really good book on care, etc., for rhodies?


For general care, quick information is available at

1) The American Rhododendron Society, click on "Need Help Growing Rhododendrons?"

2) The Seattle Rhododendron Society has a Rhododendron Care page

For more extensive information, there are scores of great books. A good one that includes specifics about rhodies is Cass Turnbull's Guide to Pruning (Cass Turnbull, 2004). Plant Amnesty, founded by Turnbull, also has information on pruning an overgrown rhododendron.

You can also select one by thumbing through the paperbacks available at (almost) all nurseries. Sunset Publishing and American Horticultural Society are reliable publishers.

As an aside, there were some ancient, neglected, potentially beautiful rhodies at my home. They were pruned slowly over 3 to 4 years and look great now. So, don't be shy!

Keywords Pruning shrubs, Rhododendron
Season All Season
Date 2007-12-06

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