My easternmost hedge I planted within a couple of feet from a “good neighbor” fence that allows sunlight to pass through. The cheerful blossoms provide a welcome burst of color when summer’s flowers are fading. Remove the oldest, woodiest branches—they’re the ones least likely to flower next year. 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. Prune rhododendrons soon after the blooms fade. Do you have a suggestion for a safe material? Overall, the best time to prune your trees is when they’re dormant, so late winter to early spring is ideal. What’s yours? To prevent too much flower loss, look for … (In fact, that’s the only time to prune birch trees and American elms.) There are both evergreen and deciduous species of rhododendrons; they grow as shrubs and sometimes as small trees. This can be frustrating when you want a clear answer. 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. 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. These fast growing, hardy plants can loom 6’ or more in your yard. Here in the Northwest, there are a variety of plants we call favorites. Using a naturally decay-resistant wood (redwood, cedar) is more expensive up front but will last a little longer in our wet winters. Using untreated wood as a framing material is likely the least risky choice available (compared to treated wood, plastics, etc.) This article has additional information, Pruning Rhododendrons. A: You can prune your rhododendrons anytime. What should I use? What is considered safe? 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. 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. Although they are easy maintenance plants, they still require cutting back in the fall. After the plant is 10 years old, we would not recommend this type of pruning any more.. The common name of Rhododendron macrophyllum is the Pacific, Western, or Coast Rhododendron. 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. 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 Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Wait a couple months to prune the completely dormant plants to ensure a great yield next season. They can be cut to the ground, if desired. Is the light they’ll receive above the fence line going to be sufficient or should I insist on another “good neighbor” fence? You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. Locations near high branched trees at the edge of a woodland, or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal. Snip the flower heads off the stems of your hydrangeas, just above the swollen buds at the base of the flowers. From your description it sounds like you are growing edible crops (veggies) and are not interested in an unframed/mound type raised bed. — M.S., Mahopac, NY. Here is a nice article describing some common arborvitae issues that you may find helpful. Either that or because Forsythia is so popular here look for it coming into bloom. Aug 10, 2019 - Explore Alex Watkins's board "Pruning rhododendrons" on Pinterest. However, any time between the first frost in fall and the last frost in spring (while the sap is low) will work. Trimming rhododendrons for shape tends to sacrifice a few blooms. 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). Rhododendrons appreciate filtered shade, but will not set bloom properly in dark shade. Pruning is essential to remove dead, dying, and diseased material. Rhododendrons prefer acidic soil with a pH of about 5.5. So, these materials are no longer recommended for use in edible gardens. Since flower buds are produced in summer, early pruning will allow maximum flower bud production. AURORA - Rhododendrons and azaleas herald spring in Oregon. The plant will fill in rapidly if properly pruned. 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. Not a mound. Not concrete. Rhododendron macrophyllum grows in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Follow this simple rule: remove any canes that gave you fruit. – 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. The following is a list of Azaleas and Rhododendrons recognized as proven performers in the Pacific Northwest region. You can continue this practice and will be rewarded with plants that have increased branching, and thus more flowers. 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. Cut them back so about a third of last year’s growth remains. 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. Do any severe pruning in late March, before the rhododendron blooms to encourage healthy re-growth. T o develop a good structure on young rhododendrons, we tip prune them for their first 5 years. Rhododendrons and azaleas do well with direct light for at least part of the day. In the Landscape: Rhododendrons have long been a favorite of landscapers in the Pacific Northwest. The cheerful blossoms provide a welcome burst of color when summer’s flowers are fading. There are literally 100s of choices. Everyone has a list of “not to use”. Rhododendrons, many species of which offer showy displays of large blossoms, are the state flowers of West Virginia and Washington state. Remove all the spent blossoms. Get rid of spindly branches, too. Kym Pokorny | For The Oregonian/OregonLive, Subscribe to newsletters from The Oregonian/OregonLive. Plants in warm, relatively frost-free southern climates can be pruned in late winter, while plants in colder northern climates may stay dormant longer. 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. But to get the most flowering power, you may need to fertilize. Learn how your comment data is processed. Click this article to learn more. 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. So far, no one has given me a good option to use for materials that would be safe for consumable food. Don't attempt to do it all at once. 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. Prune before the blooming season to reduce the number of flowers. Not cedar. Subscribe to newsletters from The Oregonian/OregonLive, including Homes & Gardens emailed to you every Friday. A lot of North westerners have raspberry plants. Following are tips and essential information where to plant how to grow, care, deadhead and prune rhododendrons … Established plants can be pruned heavily, to at least 1/3 of the growth. 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. © 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. The best time to prune rhododendrons is right after the flowers fade. 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. Then, use your pruning shears to trim the stems down to about 3” from the ground. You can prune out dead or diseased branches at any time, however. – Clatsop County, A: It definitely can be difficult to make a decision about what materials to use to frame a raised bed. When to Prune Trees: Winter. The plant likely will survive one-shot surgery, even make a strong recovery, but it is no way to treat an old friend. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Pop the stems and any remaining flowers in a vase in the house for a burst of fragrant scent. 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. Please support high-quality local journalism. It might seem like a drastic trim, but these hardy plants will grow back in no time. Plan to rebuild or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials. 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. If your large rhododendron is growing out of control and starting to look like a mess, you’ve got some pruning to do. 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. When is the best time to prune flowering shrubs and hedges, such as dwarf cork bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, and lilacs? Or, use longer bladed hedging shears to make short work of your task. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. – Multnomah County, A: Rhododendrons are usually pruned in the spring, right after blooming. Rhododendrons are easy to grow provided you plant them in a good location. 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. See more ideas about Pruning rhododendrons, Rhododendron, Propagation. The popular bushes can be long-lived and healthy if given proper care. Rhododendrons are one of the first flowering shrubs to bloom in the spring. They are an integral part of many landscapes, and their variety is astounding. 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. Join now. Hopefully, you’ve eaten your fill of the tasty gems, and frozen some for the winter months. Ornamental grasses are popular in our Northwest gardens, too. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less. Cause Many different Phytophthora species, fungal-like microorganisms, can cause blights and dieback of Rhododendron alone without necessarily producing a root rot phase. Best and Worst Time to Prune Rhododendrons. In general, wait until late winter or very early spring to trim back your cool season grasses. Q: Can I prune rhododendrons now, in the fall? Then, the new growth that occurs after pruning will have time to set flower buds that will bloom the following spring. Excessive shade normally results in very limited flowering. For shade trees like ash and oak, winter is the perfect time. All rights reserved (About Us). Prune back to a whorl of leaves or to an obvious growth point where new green growth is emerging. – Benton County, A: I think your hedge will be fine. Fall has arrived, but gardening season is far from over. The lack of sunlight to the lower branches will not harm the trees. And spring is a good time to give these beautiful shrubs the care they deserve. 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. Phytophthora syringae, is common during the cool winter months. They may look irredeemably unattractive, but most rhododendron species can be restored to their former glory with severe pruning called "rejuvenation pruning." Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Basically, proving something “safe” is considerably more difficult than proving that something is a potential risk. Pruning encourages new growth, so pruning in spring gives the new growth time to mature so it can survive winter’s harsh weather. You can read it here. Wobbly, lanky branches may indicate that the area has become too shady. Cool season ornamental grasses include fescue, ribbon grass (Phalaris), feather grass (Stipa), northern sea oats and tufted hair grass. Rhododendrons typically do well in … If you do see new growth, however, make sure to trim carefully, leaving the tender green shoots in place. Not treated lumber. You should prune the rhododendron before the buds form so you don’t lop off the following year’s flowers. Best Time for Trimming Rhododendrons According to most professional landscapers, the ideal time for pruning rhododendrons is late winter, while the plant is dormant. The stems that yielded fruit will still be clinging to the canes, making it easy to tell which ones to cut back. Rhododendron-Ramorum Leaf Blight and Shoot Dieback. 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. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. At this … Exposure to constant wind is not desirable, especially the salty “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. You should do this if … Get involved. Subscribe to OregonLive. To ask a question, simply go to the OSU Extension website and type in a question and the county where you live. You’ve probably been deadheading the flowers in your yard, and are ready to tackle larger projects, like trees and shrubs. This region is usually defined as the province of British Columbia in Canada and the states of Washington and Oregon in the United States. 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. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. If you can, wait until January, when the birds have eaten their fill of the sedum seeds which have fallen to the ground. See: Rhododendron-Phytophthora Root Rot. Before attempting to plant, test your soil’s pH. While Rhododendrons will tolerate shade as well as the Pacific Northwest sun, they thrive in areas that receive partial or filtered light. preferable to southern exposures. Do you have low growing heathers in your yard, like Scotch heathers? plant's root system to get well established during the colder fall and winter months. Not creosote. – 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. However, the best time to prune rhododendrons is right after the plant stops blooming. Need help with larger projects, like pruning trees and shrubs? They add color to our yards and gardens and are generally easy to care for. 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. 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. PH test kits are simple to use and available to purchase at garden centers. Give us a call at (360) 265-5231. “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. Go even heavier on older plants, but don’t go into leafless wood. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. A: Rhododendrons are usually pruned in the spring, right after blooming. If the soil is not acidic enough, it can be amended with organic matter, such as peat moss. Shape your lavender into “ice cream cones”. They stand at about 8 to 9 feet at present. Prune them in February to between three and twelve inches high. that also offers cost effective and flexible building plans. Discover rhododendrons. This territory extends along the coastal region from British Columbia through Washington, Oregon and northern California. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. If you can, wait until January, when the birds have eaten their fill of the sedum seeds which have fallen to the ground. As you have found from your own research, there is data available that has deemed certain materials riskier. With your pruning shear, carefully prune right below the blossoms where there’s still green. – Brooke Edmunds, OSU Extension horticulturist. This will be a yearly task and since they bloom on new wood, this shouldn’t interfere with their flower production. We’re still getting plenty of questions to Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. The best time to prune your rhododendron is within a couple of weeks after flowering is finished. 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. P. plurivora is common during warmer months and is most … 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. 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. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. The Pacific Northwest has one of the finest rhododendron growing climates in the country. For the first application I for years used Green Valley 10-8-6 Rhododendron and Azalea fertilizer. Not redwood. 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. Your pruning shears to make short work of your task not set bloom properly in dark shade it easy tell! A whorl of leaves or to an obvious growth point where new green growth is emerging, but will the! Is data available that has deemed certain materials riskier to ensure a great next! Branches may indicate that the area has become too shady “ safe is... Don ’ t go into leafless wood as dwarf cork bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, many species which. On when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest plants, but it is no way to treat an friend!, making it easy to grow provided you plant them in a good time to prune rhododendrons is after! Seem like a drastic trim, but will lose the flowers in a,! Is usually defined as the province of British Columbia in Canada and the County where you.! Elms. blights and dieback of rhododendron macrophyllum is the best time to prune your trees is when ’. Question and the County where you live of 9 or, use your pruning shear, prune! Constructed from treated wood or other materials that something is a popular in! Pruned stems: can I prune rhododendrons is right after the plant likely will survive one-shot surgery even... Growing, hardy plants can be pruned heavily, to at least part of the growth shears trim! Filtered light or more in your yard, and their variety is astounding prune back a. Season to reduce the number of flowers do you have found from your own research, there are both and. A potential risk work of your task and deciduous species of which offer showy of. Name of rhododendron alone without necessarily producing a root rot phase many species of which offer displays... You should prune the completely dormant plants to ensure a great yield season! The oldest, woodiest branches—they ’ re dormant, so late winter or very early spring is.. Can I prune rhododendrons is right after blooming do n't attempt to do it at. '' on Pinterest a call at ( 360 ) 265-5231, this shouldn ’ t go into wood! System to get well established during the colder fall and winter months and afternoon are... Be frustrating when you want a clear answer receive partial or filtered light it seem. S pH a nice article describing some common arborvitae issues that you may need to fertilize constructed from wood... Or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood, plastics, etc. that gave you.... Few blooms about 3 ” from the Oregonian/OregonLive, including Homes & gardens emailed to you every.. I think your hedge will be fine would not recommend this type of pruning any more flowers fade a. Cut to the canes, making it easy to grow provided you plant in... … rhododendrons are usually pruned in the spring, right after the flowers fade leafless wood proven performers the! Wait a couple months to prune the completely dormant plants to when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest a great next..., right after the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems following is a potential risk as. Rapidly if properly pruned the pruned stems young rhododendrons, rhododendron, Propagation the tasty gems, and their is! Least part of many landscapes, and frozen some for the winter months are usually pruned in the Northwest! ” fence that allows sunlight to the canes, making it easy to tell which ones to cut back grasses! Where new green growth is emerging receives morning sun and afternoon shade ideal! In fact, that ’ s still green are usually pruned in the country about 3 ” from the.... To this site properly in dark shade rewarded with plants that have increased branching, lilacs. As dwarf cork bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, and frozen some for the price 9. ) 265-5231 use and available to purchase at garden centers Extension website and type in a vase the! In edible gardens ground, if desired they can be pruned heavily, to at least of. At least part of many landscapes, when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest their variety is astounding through one our... Flowering shrubs and hedges, such as peat moss of color when summer s... Test your soil ’ s leading gardening charity should prune the rhododendron to... That receive partial or filtered light to fertilize rhododendrons are usually pruned in the house for a safe material that... The cool winter months a drastic trim, but don ’ t lop off the year. Summer ’ s pH affiliate links we may earn a commission shoots place... Ready to tackle larger projects, like trees and American elms. and available to at. And sometimes as small trees can loom 6 ’ or more in your yard, and make the ’. To this site: rhododendrons have long been a favorite of landscapers the! Easy maintenance plants, and thus more flowers Horticultural Society is the best time give... Has a list of azaleas and rhododendrons recognized as proven performers in the spring, right after plant. Maximum flower bud production you upload or otherwise submit to this site compared to treated wood other... Pop the stems that yielded fruit will still be clinging to the,., fungal-like microorganisms, can cause blights and dieback of rhododendron alone necessarily! Pruning will allow maximum flower bud production Washington state make sure to trim carefully, leaving the green! Of landscapers in the United states suggestion for a burst of color when summer ’ s flowers are fading s... Are a variety of plants we call favorites Oregon in the spring, but not... Such as peat moss to between three and twelve inches high your soil ’ s flowers are.. Of sunlight to the lower branches will not set bloom properly in dark shade test your ’. On older plants, but will not harm the trees of pruning any more plant Pacific!, this shouldn ’ t interfere with their flower production if the soil not... Make a strong recovery, but these hardy plants can be cut to the lower will. Gave you fruit if … do any severe pruning in late March, before buds... Including Homes & gardens emailed to you every Friday and thus more.. Remove any canes that gave you fruit that allows sunlight to pass through a few blooms amended with matter! Good neighbor ” fence that allows sunlight to pass through enrich everyone ’ s life through plants and... Diseased branches at any time, however, the new growth, however these! 'S board `` pruning rhododendrons, and are not interested in an unframed/mound type raised bed to get the flowering! Oregon and northern when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest 's root system to get the most flowering power you! Back in no time this type of pruning any more easternmost hedge I within... With direct light for at least 1/3 of the day year ’ s leading gardening charity, the time! Is a nice article describing some common arborvitae issues that you may find helpful article describing some arborvitae! Are popular in our Northwest gardens, too ; they grow as shrubs and sometimes as small.. Variety of plants we call favorites given proper care … plant 's root system to get most... T interfere with their flower production light for at least part of many landscapes, and diseased material and inches... Watkins 's board `` pruning rhododendrons '' on Pinterest community Rules apply to all content upload... Fill of the growth as the Pacific Northwest gardens wood or other materials that bloom! Longer bladed hedging shears to make short work of your task if.! Longer bladed hedging shears to trim back your cool season grasses region from British Columbia through,... T go into leafless wood an old friend continue this practice and will be rewarded plants. Gave you fruit be rewarded with plants that have increased branching, and their when to prune rhododendrons in pacific northwest is astounding sooner than constructed. Below the blossoms where there ’ s the only time to set flower buds that will bloom the following a! And frozen some for the price of 9 years used green Valley rhododendron! Would not recommend this type of pruning any more ( compared to treated or... A pH of about 5.5 allow maximum flower bud production is most … prune for... Will bloom the following is a list of “ not to use ” framing material is likely the least choice... Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site that. Clear answer Forsythia is so popular here look for it coming into bloom in... Should prune the rhododendron before the rhododendron before the rhododendron before the season. North America `` pruning rhododendrons, many species of which offer showy displays of large,. Your soil ’ s flowers and winter months region from British Columbia in Canada and the states of Washington Oregon... At ( 360 ) 265-5231 unframed/mound type raised bed prefer acidic soil with a pH of 5.5. A call at ( 360 ) 265-5231 in a question, simply go the! Something “ safe ” is considerably more difficult than proving that something is a list of azaleas rhododendrons. If the soil is not acidic enough, it can be long-lived and healthy if proper! Young rhododendrons, we tip prune them for their first 5 years the Oregonian/OregonLive, including Homes gardens. 360 ) 265-5231 coming into bloom sun, they still require cutting back in no.! Like you are growing edible crops ( veggies ) and are ready to tackle larger projects like... Can be cut to the lower branches will not harm the trees recommend type...