Trimming rhododendrons

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Morticia

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My rhodies have just finished blooming so I want to cut them back before they bud up for next year. They are overtaking the porch. How far back can I trim them?
 

EmptyNest

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Take a look here ...these should give you some help. I don't have any so have never had to do it.
http://www.flounder.ca/FraserSouth/basics/pruning.asp
http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/three-ways-prune-rhododendrons.aspx
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/flower/pruning-rhododendrons.htm
http://www.nyrhododendron.org/pages/articles/9article.html
 

One Day

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Good links.....
You can easily reduce the size.......as indicated in the links.....next years flowers will be fewer, some cases much fewer.
Depending on the plants size and location.....we will do a light reduction on the face sides......get into the plant and cut the top off at notches well below the height we want, eventualy........so that from the side views....we are not looking at stubs of the cuts.......from the top......well, that is a hole.
Following year or the next.....after the center has sprouted new growth.....we will then do further reduction of the sides to get to a size we want to start over again with.
If it allows.......we just reduce the entire plant at one time, allow it to grow out.
 

ceecee

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Not sure abt timing in your area, but in the NW I use plant stake fertilizers in summer heavily on the rhodies I am going to cut in the fall. If you fertilize the heavily trimmed rhodies in winter the stems will be weak and any winds will break them.
In the fall I cut the height first. You can actually cut to about 2 ft tall if you need to, but I have only had to butcher that far back one time! I wait until the next year to shape and trim the sides. That way I am sure to have many blooms each year. Pruning all in one year reduces blooms quite a bit.
I have mush menopause brain so I do every other rhodie-top on the first in the row, sides on the next, top on the third, etc. That way the next year I can look, see where I was and move on!
 
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