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Pruning shrubs

On the show yesterday Roger cut down a Privet Hedge and told the owner that it would grow back in 3 to 4 months--which it did. Can I do this to a rhododendron or an Azalea. Thanks.

Re: Pruning shrubs

I would not do drastic cutting on a rhodie or azalea. Privets are very tough plants and yes, they would come back, but probably not for a rhodie or azalea. It would be best to do it in steps, over a 3 to 4 year period. Remove 25% of the foliage cutting back to a whole branch deep down into the structure, in other words, don't prune only the outer edge of the foliage, instead, take down whole branches. Prune in such a way as to maintain a natural look. This is called thinning. Each year take another 25% but don't remove any new growth that has appeared as a result of your previous pruning. You can continue to prune in this fashion after you have reduced the size to your liking, just remove only 10-15% each year. Always prune immediately after flowering or as soon as you are done enjoying the flowers.

Re: Pruning shrubs

Thank you for your reply. I will proceed as you suggest. Have a Happy New Year.

Re: Pruning shrubs


This reply might be too late if youi have already pruned your Rhobie, but the best time to prune them is just after the have blommed. For Mass this is mid to late may.
If you prune them in the fall you will cut off about 25% of your blooms for the spring.


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