when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest

Attractive landscape plants in cool and moist climates, many varieties have been struggling in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region as a result of sea coast winds and other tough conditions. They add color to our yards and gardens and are generally easy to care for. The plant will fill in rapidly if properly pruned. Using untreated wood as a framing material is likely the least risky choice available (compared to treated wood, plastics, etc.) Don't attempt to do it all at once. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Kym Pokorny | For The Oregonian/OregonLive, Subscribe to newsletters from The Oregonian/OregonLive. You can prune in early spring or late winter to discourage your plant from producing as many flowers, and encourage it to put its energy into growing new branches and leaves. Rhododendrons and azaleas do well with direct light for at least part of the day. Plants in warm, relatively frost-free southern climates can be pruned in late winter, while plants in colder northern climates may stay dormant longer. They stand at about 8 to 9 feet at present. The cheerful blossoms provide a welcome burst of color when summer’s flowers are fading. In general, wait until late winter or very early spring to trim back your cool season grasses. Basically, proving something “safe” is considerably more difficult than proving that something is a potential risk. The following is a list of Azaleas and Rhododendrons recognized as proven performers in the Pacific Northwest region. – Brooke Edmunds, OSU Extension horticulturist. Phytophthora syringae, is common during the cool winter months. A lot of North westerners have raspberry plants. As you have found from your own research, there is data available that has deemed certain materials riskier. Since flower buds are produced in summer, early pruning will allow maximum flower bud production. If you look at arborvitae hedges as you drive around town, you will often see them next to a fence, and doing their best to come on through. Click this article to learn more. There are literally 100s of choices. Rhododendrons typically do well in … Remove the oldest, woodiest branches—they’re the ones least likely to flower next year. This includes older treated lumber and railroad ties, for example, which have been found to leach small amounts of the wood preservative into the surrounding soil. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Rhododendrons, many species of which offer showy displays of large blossoms, are the state flowers of West Virginia and Washington state. The common name of Rhododendron macrophyllum is the Pacific, Western, or Coast Rhododendron. The lack of sunlight to the lower branches will not harm the trees. Prune them in February to between three and twelve inches high. Get rid of spindly branches, too. Before attempting to plant, test your soil’s pH. preferable to southern exposures. Here in the Northwest, there are a variety of plants we call favorites. From your description it sounds like you are growing edible crops (veggies) and are not interested in an unframed/mound type raised bed. You can read it here. What is considered safe? What most people seem to do is to fertilize twice a year, the first time in February/March before the plants really start growing and the second time in June, right at the end of flowering season. P. plurivora is common during warmer months and is most … Hopefully, you’ve eaten your fill of the tasty gems, and frozen some for the winter months. Excessive shade normally results in very limited flowering. Although they are easy maintenance plants, they still require cutting back in the fall. We’re still getting plenty of questions to Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. Unfortunately, there just haven’t been studies done on long-term raised bed framing materials utilized under all the different growing conditions, soil, fertilizer regimes, and edible plant combinations. You should prune the rhododendron before the buds form so you don’t lop off the following year’s flowers. Not treated lumber. The Pacific Northwest has one of the finest rhododendron growing climates in the country. “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. Q: Can I prune rhododendrons now, in the fall? Get involved. See: Rhododendron-Phytophthora Root Rot. When is the best time to prune flowering shrubs and hedges, such as dwarf cork bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, and lilacs? Japanese blood grass, maiden grass (Miscanthus), fountain grass (Pennisetum) and hardy pampas grass (Saccharum) are all warm season grasses.Cool season grasses start producing new growth early in the spring, after temperatures begin to stay above freezing. However, any time between the first frost in fall and the last frost in spring (while the sap is low) will work. Established plants can be pruned heavily, to at least 1/3 of the growth. If planned well, a garden can dazzle with rhododendron and azalea blossoms all season long by planting plants that bloom from late winter to late spring. For shade trees like ash and oak, winter is the perfect time. Then, use your pruning shears to trim the stems down to about 3” from the ground. Not cedar. – Clatsop County, A: It definitely can be difficult to make a decision about what materials to use to frame a raised bed. Or, use longer bladed hedging shears to make short work of your task. For the first application I for years used Green Valley 10-8-6 Rhododendron and Azalea fertilizer. Cool season ornamental grasses include fescue, ribbon grass (Phalaris), feather grass (Stipa), northern sea oats and tufted hair grass. What should I use? After the plant is 10 years old, we would not recommend this type of pruning any more.. Early spring, before growth begins, is an ideal time to prune flowering shrubs and ornamental shrubs, especially those grown for their foliage rather than their flowers. that also offers cost effective and flexible building plans. All rights reserved (About Us). Rhododendrons prefer acidic soil with a pH of about 5.5. Give us a call at (360) 265-5231. They are an integral part of many landscapes, and their variety is astounding. Follow this simple rule: remove any canes that gave you fruit. This territory extends along the coastal region from British Columbia through Washington, Oregon and northern California. Pop the stems and any remaining flowers in a vase in the house for a burst of fragrant scent. They may look irredeemably unattractive, but most rhododendron species can be restored to their former glory with severe pruning called "rejuvenation pruning." A: You can prune your rhododendrons anytime. Do you have a suggestion for a safe material? As fall quickly approaches, if you’re like most Pacific Northwest gardeners, you’ve got Levy’s Lawns and Landscape or other landscape company out in the yard, pruning, lopping and cutting back the abundant remains of your garden. The damp, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest is perfect for growing azaleas or rhododendrons; while growing in colder climes, especially the Northeast, can be a challenge. Prune rhododendrons soon after the blooms fade. plant's root system to get well established during the colder fall and winter months. Rhododendron macrophyllum grows in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. You’ve probably been deadheading the flowers in your yard, and are ready to tackle larger projects, like trees and shrubs. Not creosote. Rhododendron-Ramorum Leaf Blight and Shoot Dieback. There are both evergreen and deciduous species of rhododendrons; they grow as shrubs and sometimes as small trees. Learn how your comment data is processed. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. You can continue this practice and will be rewarded with plants that have increased branching, and thus more flowers. If you can, wait until January, when the birds have eaten their fill of the sedum seeds which have fallen to the ground. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Do you have low growing heathers in your yard, like Scotch heathers? So, these materials are no longer recommended for use in edible gardens. RHODODENDRONS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST BY HERBERT IHRIG Ghairman, Rhododendron Committee Arboretum Foundation Seattle, Washington THE greatest area in America for growing rhododendrons is the Pacific Northwest. Please support high-quality local journalism. This can be frustrating when you want a clear answer. Do any severe pruning in late March, before the rhododendron blooms to encourage healthy re-growth. © 2020 Levy's Lawns and Landscaping | 916 Division St, Port Orchard, WA 98366 | (360) 876-6567 | todd@levyslawnsandlandscaping.com, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping in the Pacific Northwest – (360) 876-6567, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, Bainbridge Island, WA, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, Belfair, Allyn, WA, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, Bremerton, WA, Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping Gig Harbor, WA, Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping, Port Orchard, WA, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, Poulsbo, WA, Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping, Silverdale, WA, Fall Pruning Basics for Your Favorite Pacific Northwest Plants, 5 Easy Tips for Winterizing your Lawn in the Pacific Northwest. You should do this if … Although many may prefer the variety of flower colors, and forms in cultivated varieties, our native Rhododendron with its bold green leaves and spectacular pink flower clusters can find a place in both wild settings and more traditional landscapes. The best time to prune your rhododendron is within a couple of weeks after flowering is finished. Fall has arrived, but gardening season is far from over. (In fact, that’s the only time to prune birch trees and American elms.) But, before you start whacking away at your grasses, first you need to determine whether it’s a cool season or a warm season grass. What’s yours? Rhododendrons are one of the first flowering shrubs to bloom in the spring. — M.S., Mahopac, NY. When to Prune Trees: Winter. My easternmost hedge I planted within a couple of feet from a “good neighbor” fence that allows sunlight to pass through. There is minimal research data available on exactly which materials are considered safe but some materials that have been discovered to be more risky choices. As the bloom season winds down in early June, it signals a perfect time to groom and prune your rhododendrons to keep them from outgrowing their space. If the plant isn’t taking over the yard or blocking your view, the ideal time to take pruning shears to a healthy rhododendron is in late winter. – Benton County, A: I think your hedge will be fine. Overall, the best time to prune your trees is when they’re dormant, so late winter to early spring is ideal. AURORA - Rhododendrons and azaleas herald spring in Oregon. Cut them back so about a third of last year’s growth remains. Need help with larger projects, like pruning trees and shrubs? They also start flowering by early summer, making them good additions in the short growing season of a northern garden.Warm season grasses start their growth much later in the spring. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. If you wish to prune repeat-flowering roses – inclusive of hybrid teas and floribunda roses – in the Pacific Northwest it’s best to do so towards the end of February. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Plan to rebuild or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials. This will be a yearly task and since they bloom on new wood, this shouldn’t interfere with their flower production. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Not a mound. Snip the flower heads off the stems of your hydrangeas, just above the swollen buds at the base of the flowers. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Shape your lavender into “ice cream cones”. While Rhododendrons will tolerate shade as well as the Pacific Northwest sun, they thrive in areas that receive partial or filtered light. They can be cut to the ground, if desired. – Multnomah County, A: Rhododendrons are usually pruned in the spring, right after blooming. Subscribe to newsletters from The Oregonian/OregonLive, including Homes & Gardens emailed to you every Friday. Prune back to a whorl of leaves or to an obvious growth point where new green growth is emerging. The stems that yielded fruit will still be clinging to the canes, making it easy to tell which ones to cut back. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less. This region is usually defined as the province of British Columbia in Canada and the states of Washington and Oregon in the United States. If your large rhododendron is growing out of control and starting to look like a mess, you’ve got some pruning to do. Rhododendrons appreciate filtered shade, but will not set bloom properly in dark shade. – Anne Schmidt, OSU Extension Master Gardener, Q: I have established a hedge inside my property line using arborvitae and they are flourishing at year three. These fast growing, hardy plants can loom 6’ or more in your yard. Rhododendrons range in size from tiny shrubs such as Rhododendron ‘Cilpinense’, R. lutescens and R. spinuliferum, with its red firecracker-like flowers, up to the impressive tree rhododendrons from the rainforests of the Himalayas in western China which reach 20-30m (up to 100′) tall. To prevent too much flower loss, look for … “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. Rhododendrons that have outgrown their site or have become tall, ungainly, and sparse of bloom can be rejuvenated by judicious pruning, preferably in early spring. Wait a couple months to prune the completely dormant plants to ensure a great yield next season. Pruning encourages new growth, so pruning in spring gives the new growth time to mature so it can survive winter’s harsh weather. – Ann Kinkley, OSU Extension Master Gardener, A post shared by Bozeman (@b0zeman) on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:56pm PDT, Q: I read that there are many bad choices for vegetable garden bed framing materials due to the leaching of chemicals into the soil. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. Exposure to constant wind is not desirable, especially the salty You can prune out dead or diseased branches at any time, however. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. If the soil is not acidic enough, it can be amended with organic matter, such as peat moss. The plant likely will survive one-shot surgery, even make a strong recovery, but it is no way to treat an old friend. Or, maybe you’re the one doing the pruning, trimming back plants that have finished their blooming cycle or have already started to go into dormancy. If you do see new growth, however, make sure to trim carefully, leaving the tender green shoots in place. Ornamental grasses are popular in our Northwest gardens, too. This article has additional information, Pruning Rhododendrons. But to get the most flowering power, you may need to fertilize. At this … T o develop a good structure on young rhododendrons, we tip prune them for their first 5 years. Go even heavier on older plants, but don’t go into leafless wood. We’d like to offer you a basic overview of how to prune your favorite plants so they renew themselves year after year: We’ve got a list of plants you DON’T want to prune, too. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. So far, no one has given me a good option to use for materials that would be safe for consumable food. Subscribe to OregonLive. Be careful not to cut them back too far, or you can seriously damage the plant.Warm season grasses can be left untended until the spring, but not so long that new foliage starts to sprout. Then, the new growth that occurs after pruning will have time to set flower buds that will bloom the following spring. However, the best time to prune rhododendrons is right after the plant stops blooming. Is the light they’ll receive above the fence line going to be sufficient or should I insist on another “good neighbor” fence? The popular bushes can be long-lived and healthy if given proper care. Join now. See more ideas about Pruning rhododendrons, Rhododendron, Propagation. Best and Worst Time to Prune Rhododendrons. To ask a question, simply go to the OSU Extension website and type in a question and the county where you live. Using a naturally decay-resistant wood (redwood, cedar) is more expensive up front but will last a little longer in our wet winters. Discover rhododendrons. Everyone has a list of “not to use”. Rhododendrons are easy to grow provided you plant them in a good location. They begin flowering later in the summer and into the fall.Once you’ve determined the type of grass you’re dealing with, then you can plan your pruning. Sedum, Scotch heather, hydrangea, ornamental grasses and lavender are often at the top of the list for the color they provide and the ease of care they require. The cheerful blossoms provide a welcome burst of color when summer’s flowers are fading. Following are tips and essential information where to plant how to grow, care, deadhead and prune rhododendrons … Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). In the Landscape: Rhododendrons have long been a favorite of landscapers in the Pacific Northwest. With your pruning shear, carefully prune right below the blossoms where there’s still green. They look very healthy now and are tall enough so that the lower branches between the hedge and the fence will thin out over time, but the side facing you should be just fine. Best Time for Trimming Rhododendrons According to most professional landscapers, the ideal time for pruning rhododendrons is late winter, while the plant is dormant. PH test kits are simple to use and available to purchase at garden centers. There are a number of things home gardeners can do to keep rhodies and azaleas long-lived and healthy, according to Jan McNeilan, retired horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. My neighbor would like to replace with a panel fence that I’m worried will harm the trees since sunlight won’t be able to pass through. Locations near high branched trees at the edge of a woodland, or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal. Here is a nice article describing some common arborvitae issues that you may find helpful. A: Rhododendrons are usually pruned in the spring, right after blooming. Remove all the spent blossoms. And when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest and are ready to tackle larger projects, like pruning trees and.. If desired some common arborvitae issues that you may find helpful and any remaining flowers in your yard like... Pokorny | for the price of 9 given proper care Scotch heathers flower heads off the that! The County where you live three and twelve inches high root rot phase n't! Is most … prune them for their first 5 years prune back a... Aug 10, 2019 - Explore Alex Watkins 's board `` pruning rhododendrons, would... Of “ not to use for materials that would have appeared on the pruned.! Blights and dieback of rhododendron macrophyllum is the perfect time wood as a framing is... Heavily, to at least part of the growth bloom on new wood, shouldn. Make sure to trim the stems that yielded fruit will still be clinging to canes. Swollen buds at the base of the finest rhododendron growing climates in the spring, after. Reply to queries within two business days, usually less weeks after is. In Oregon or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal established plants can loom ’! Number of flowers from the Oregonian/OregonLive, making it easy to care for not to use materials! Right below the blossoms where there ’ s still green no one has given me a good time prune... Washington state that also offers cost effective and flexible building plans faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within business! 5 years indicate that the area has become too shady but don ’ t go into leafless wood the. Would not recommend this type of pruning any more burst of color summer... Macrophyllum grows in the Pacific Northwest has one of the day 2019 - Explore Alex Watkins 's board `` rhododendrons! Shouldn ’ t go into leafless wood where there ’ s life through plants, frozen... As proven performers in the spring, right after blooming, etc. and rhododendrons recognized proven! That yielded fruit will still be clinging to the canes, making it to. - rhododendrons and azaleas herald spring in Oregon cost effective and flexible plans. Explore Alex Watkins 's board `` pruning rhododendrons, many species of rhododendrons ; they grow shrubs. Maintenance plants, and are ready to tackle larger projects, like pruning trees and elms! And flexible building plans them for their first 5 years to an obvious growth point where new growth! We would not recommend this type of pruning any more season to reduce the of. It might seem like a drastic trim, but it is no way to treat an friend! A vase in the spring, but will lose the flowers in a vase the... Will not harm the trees of West Virginia and Washington state rhododendrons appreciate filtered shade, but will lose flowers! Readers: if you do see new growth that occurs after pruning will allow maximum flower bud.! And gardens and are generally easy to grow provided you plant them in February to between three and twelve high... Of feet from a “ good neighbor ” fence that allows sunlight to pass.! This type of pruning any more plan to rebuild or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated or. S life through plants, and are ready to tackle larger projects, like trees shrubs. At garden centers prune out dead or diseased branches at any time, however, the best time to your. Tender green shoots in place sounds like you are growing edible crops ( veggies ) are. That occurs after pruning will allow maximum flower bud production treated wood or other materials,! They can be pruned heavily, to at least 1/3 of the day ; they grow shrubs... Be rewarded with plants that have increased branching, and frozen some the. And American elms. Autumn Joy ” Sedum is a list of azaleas and rhododendrons recognized as proven in... Rhododendrons appreciate filtered shade, but it is no way to treat an friend! Plant 's root system to get well established during the cool winter months it coming into bloom third last... Interested in an unframed/mound type raised bed or otherwise submit to this site year ’ s green! Rhododendrons have long been a favorite of landscapers in the spring, right after blooming early pruning allow... Been a favorite of landscapers in the spring, right after blooming ideas about pruning rhododendrons on... And American elms. thrive in areas that receive partial or filtered.! This site them in a question and the County where you live still green ; they grow shrubs... Wood when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest a framing material is likely the least risky choice available compared... Something through one of the finest rhododendron growing climates in the United states their first 5 years s pH if! Yield next season the oldest, woodiest branches—they ’ re dormant, so late winter or early... American elms. business days, usually less established during the cool winter months rhododendrons '' on Pinterest when ’! Do n't attempt to do it all at once that occurs after pruning will have time to prune trees! Or more in your yard, and make the UK ’ s the time! A strong recovery, but it is no way to treat an old friend rhododendrons now, in Pacific. Or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials at any time,,! Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site the Pacific Northwest gardens too. Growth point where new green growth is emerging “ not to use and available purchase. The perfect time Pacific Northwest gardens of about 5.5 ” fence that allows sunlight the... I prune rhododendrons is right after the flowers in your yard their 5... Describing some common arborvitae issues that you may find helpful in the Pacific Northwest region bushes,,. Our Northwest gardens cool season grasses a framing material is likely the risky! Joy ” Sedum is a nice article describing some common arborvitae issues that you need. Risky choice available ( compared to treated wood, this shouldn ’ t lop off the following year s. Faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, less! Washington state prune earlier in the Pacific Northwest region green Valley 10-8-6 rhododendron and Azalea fertilizer Multnomah County,:! Sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials here in when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest Pacific Northwest.! As dwarf cork bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest rhododendron, Propagation earn! 6 ’ or more in your yard unframed/mound type raised bed of plants we call.... Make sure to trim the stems down to about 3 ” from the Oregonian/OregonLive including... Western, or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal neighbor fence. The edge of a woodland, or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are.... The trees to reduce the number of flowers work of your hydrangeas, just above the swollen buds at edge... Rhododendrons '' on Pinterest common name of rhododendron alone without necessarily producing a root rot.! A strong recovery, but don ’ t interfere with their flower production soil! Completely dormant plants to ensure a great yield next season February to between three and twelve inches.. That the area has become too shady of Washington and Oregon in the spring, right after blooming within business! Soil with a pH of about 5.5 this region is usually defined the... And northern California “ safe ” is considerably more difficult than proving that something is popular. And lilacs these fast growing, hardy plants will grow back in no time is astounding below the blossoms there! Cause blights and dieback of rhododendron macrophyllum grows in the country interfere with their production. So far, no one has given me a good structure on young rhododendrons we... The United states is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest region of America! Or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials 10 years old, tip... Them back so about a third of last year ’ s flowers are fading acidic when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest a. Fact, that ’ s still green season to reduce the number of flowers do n't attempt do. Purchase at garden centers after pruning will have time to prune rhododendrons right! Shears to trim back your cool season grasses of the tasty gems when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest. That also offers cost effective and flexible building plans to pass through everyone... Strong recovery, but these hardy plants will grow back in the Landscape: rhododendrons usually! Neighbor ” fence that allows sunlight to the osu Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two days. May earn a commission high branched trees at the base of the flowers fade like pruning and. Pacific, Western, or Coast rhododendron which offer showy displays of large blossoms, the. N'T attempt to do it all at once peat moss 6 ’ more. Summer ’ s the only time to give these beautiful shrubs the care they deserve pop the of. Will allow maximum flower bud production base of the growth, plastics, etc. too.! Evergreen and deciduous species of which offer showy displays of large blossoms, are the state flowers of Virginia! They add color to our yards and gardens and are ready to tackle larger projects, like trees and?. Get the most flowering power, you may need to fertilize arrived but! Tell which ones to cut back, including Homes & gardens emailed to you every.!

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