How do you prune a purple gem rhododendron?

Prune dead flower stems, just after blooming finishes, to improve the next year’s flower production. Remove dead or diseased growth throughout the year, cutting back just above leaf buds. If plants become overgrown, prune aggressively in the early spring, cutting plants down to 1 foot in height.

What time of year do you cut back rhododendrons?

Best Time for Trimming Rhododendrons

According to most professional landscapers, the ideal time for pruning rhododendrons is late winter, while the plant is dormant. However, any time between the first frost in fall and the last frost in spring (while the sap is low) will work.

How do you take care of a purple gem rhododendron?

Provide organically rich, well-drained, acidic soil. Apply a thick layer of mulch to keep roots cool, avoiding the crown. Avoid harsh afternoon sun exposures and shelter from drying winter winds. Water deeply and regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system.

How far back can you cut rhododendrons?

Depending on how big the rhododendron is, you may be able to cut back 15 to 20 inches of each branch of the plant. Because the rhododendron species are not meant to be cut in a shape, each primary branch that you cut should be cut at different heights to make the shrub appear natural.

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Can you cut rhododendrons back hard?

To see if your shrub can handle such a hard pruning, cut only one of the main branches back to 6 inches. Cut the others back to a height you are sure is healthy, say 2 feet. If new growth emerges from the 6-inch cut, you can cut back the rest of the shrub the following year and be confident in its return.

Is purple gem Rhododendron a perennial?

Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) are evergreen perennial shrubs that produce elegant rose-like blooms each year. Preparation and proper planting provides the right environment for perennial growth and flowering.

What killed my rhododendron?

Rhododendrons and azaleas are susceptible to a fungal wilt disease called Phytophthora root rot. The Phytophthora fungus enters the roots of the plant from infested soil and clogs the water-conducting vessels of the plant. Symptoms include poor growth, rolling of leaves, and the eventual death of the plant.

Where does the purple gem rhododendron grow?

Purple Gem Rhododendron Shrubs are versatile and hardy plants that do well in a variety of environments but thrive in colder regions. They prefer rich, acidic, well-drained soil and require full to partial sun.

Can you trim rhododendrons with a hedge trimmer?

Rhododendrons should never be trimmed with hedge trimmers or hand shears. No brushcuts. Use hand lopers to thin thicker branches. To create fullness, open the lower and interior plant to sunlight.

What month do you prune?

Generally speaking, shrubs and trees that bloom on new growth should be pruned in the winter and early spring, while those that bloom on old growth should be pruned in late spring or summer (i.e., after their flowers fade).

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How do I make my rhododendron thicker?


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. This is the key step to developing the dense bushy plant that you are after. These plants often send out a single long new shoots with no branching.

Why is my rhododendron so leggy?

Over time, a rhododendron that isn’t properly maintained will become overgrown and leggy. … This process takes off many of the rhododendron branches. Although the plant is bare for a time, the pruning stimulates the shrub to produce vigorous flushes of new growth from old stems that had been bare.