Mock orange. Once established, most evergreen shrubs are fairly low maintenance and need little or no regular pruning. It will take a couple of years and may decrease blooms, but the plant’s health and appearance will improve substantially. Forsythia. It’s done by removing the extra branches on a large scale so it’s essential to be sure of this technique before starting. Plants that respond well to rejuvenation include, forsythia, lilac, and spirea. This growth may need subsequent thinning out to select the strongest, best placed shoots. Most rhodos produce seeds and you can get your rhodo to concentrate on growth by removing the spent flowers. Maintenance pruning is the removal of spent flowers and old, dead wood. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. A: Rhododendrons are impressive plants in a landscape. This may delay flowering for several years but will result in a more manageable shrub. As you have noted all are potentially invasive. The second pruning action is for shape. In this case we employ pruning action three: rejuvenation, which sounds better than renovation. By pruning just above viable dormant buds, new healthy growth can be directed to obtain a more desirable shape. Rejuvenation pruning works on rhododendrons because they produce small buds all over the surface of branches, even the old ones. Rejuvenation pruning, sometimes called renewal pruning, is used to restore and reinvigorate older shrubs that have “thinned out” over time. This is extreme pruning! In rejuvenation pruning, you cut all of the stems down to the ground in one go. I have a rhododendron in my front yard that is completely overgrown to the point that it is taller than the lowest point of my roof. That's it. This major pruning may be a shocking experience for many gardeners. First, the ideal time to do undertake rejuvenation pruning is not after flowering (that’s when you do light pruning), but … What this translates to is after the frost in fall when the plants die back. Rejuvenation pruning, can be useful to reshape a plant. Rejuvenation pruning of Rhododendrons Rhododendron in need of hard pruning In more extreme cases, if your Rhododendron has become overgrown/leggy or you have taken over a new garden that has not been maintained for a while, you will need to utilise a more drastic pruning technique called rejuvenation and the good news is Rhododendrons usually respond well to hard pruning. Then watch. There are three pruning actions associated with rhododendrons. Most rhododendrons respond well to pruning. Rejuvenation pruning consists of cutting down a plant to about 6-18 inches. When did you last dig and divide, for example? © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Maintenance pruning: Maintenance pruning is performed on rhododendrons just after they have flowered. Q: I love our deep red rhododendron, but it has grown so big that it blocks our front window completely. When to prune. This makes neat little mounds of twigs that will explode with new growth come spring. First, the ideal time to do undertake rejuvenation pruning is not after flowering (that’s when you do light pruning), but rather early in the spring, before the start of the growing season. For rejuvenation pruning, you need to cut each of the primary branches forming the main frame of the plant, carefully. Prune your large rhododendron right after it finishes blooming. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Fortunately, they are actually not too difficult to prune back. Here is one example from my work site. With a rhododendron or azalea that lives up to their reputations as the … Flowering quince. Many rhododendron spe-cies and hybrids can be severely pruned and come back as good as new. What do you recommend? Some people use a box of wood shavings or sawdust to put around the tubers to better avoid any rotting. So out came the saw as soon as the request was made. Administrative Mailing Address: As these plants are potentially invasive, I want to know of a safe way to compost them. Red-stemmed dogwoods. This involves bravely making large cuts and significantly reducing the plant size. Rejuvenation Pruning for Azaleas & Rhododendrons Because these are generally slow-growing shrubs, there is often a tendency to plant them too close to other shrubs or obstructions. james@properlandscaping.com I plan on doing some rejuvenation pruning and cutting it back so it is only about 6 feet tall. A: It's great that you're taking the trouble to dispose of potentially invasive plants correctly. Frogbit (Limnobium spongia) or (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) is so far unknown in Oregon, but is highly invasive and considered capable of surviving here, Common Frogbit. It would be very unfortunate to get any of these plants into our streams and wetlands. It's best to remove only 25-30 percent of the leaves in a year, as hard pruning will stimulate the plant to put out vigorous, messy growth. Rejuvenation Pruning. Pruning them too early will interfere with the budding for this season and pruning them too late will interfere with the next season. Bravely make big cuts if rejuvenation is required. Rejuvenation Pruning. There are three pruning actions associated with rhododendrons. Done every three to five years, this extreme method of pruning can indeed rejuvenate an overgrown or misshapen shrub, just as the name implies. It even creates more flowers as the shrub redirects its energy into flower production rather than overgrowth. Rejuvenation Pruning. – Anne Schmidt, OSU Extension Master Gardener, Q: I have a small water garden and I need to safely dispose of excess salvinia, frogbit and water hyacinth. If digging in fall, remove the plants carefully, shake off as much soil as possible, allow the tubers to dry for a few days and then store them in a frost-free, dry and somewhat dark place. We are talking only of Rejuvenation Pruning of older shrubs. If you have an overgrown shrub that is no longer flowering, try rejuvenation pruning in early spring by cutting all the stems back to the ground. In rejuvenation pruning, you cut all of the stems down to the ground in one go. A: Rhododendrons are impressive plants in a landscape. The larger-leafed rhododendrons have many dormant buds that can be forced into new growth. We strongly suggest you consult some good references for a thorough understanding of this beautiful addition to your flower garden. A: Rhododendrons are impressive plants in a landscape. This article, How and When to Prune Rhododendrons, from The American Rhododendron Society has excellent additional information. As the shoots grow in the warming weather, add more soil gradually until you reach the ground level. […] I have also done renovation pruning on rhododendrons. I'd like to prune it way back, but I've heard that it won't bloom for years if we do. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. If your location does not regularly reach the low 20s freezing weather, you can leave them in the ground until spring. Mark Graves/The Oregonian/OregonliveLC- Mark Graves. Regular pruning maintains the shrub size and prevents breakage during the winter months by managing the structure. Go slowly, one carefully considered cut at a time. Fortunately, they are actually not too difficult to prune back. Faith, that nature will do her job. You can cut back woody branches into areas where no leaves or lower twigs exist. 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