Rhododendron is a very large genus of about 1024 know species, in North America there are also many hybrid-species for ornamental and landscaping needs. They can be evergreen or deciduous plants, in B.C. most of the ornamental Rhododendrons are evergreen bushes. The ornamental value of this plant is including the flowers and lush green leaves. In this blog, we would mainly discuss about how the proper pruning could be done for Rhododendrons. Most of the Rhododendrons are very low maintenance plant when proper care has applied. In most of our working experiences, initial planting location are not planed out properly that incorrect sunlight, soil condition increases the risk of burning leaves, diseases, and rotting trunks.
For Rhododendron pruning in summer, usually de-heading is the most common practice for keeping the plant in healthy condition. When doing de-heading, also removal any dead branches as part of the pruning process. In B.C. many Rhododendrons are planting nearby fences or large conifer trees. When pruning Rhododendrons in those conditions that the plant has dense bottom branches, bottom branches could be trimmed for better air flow. It is better to work during spring, so the plant can recover in the most ideal season.
Most importantly is to avoid using hedge trimmer. Most of the Rhododendron locally has its natural “round” shape, by using hedge trimmer may stress the plant and causing disease and fungus problem or decline of the plant.