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By Johng99

United Kingdom Gb

I have a rhododendron bush (I know there are so many different kinds) all I can say is its about 5ft high and red/pink. Its healthy and at least 10 years old. It was in the middle of a thicket of other shrubs I have removed in feb, as a result of being in this position for years it only has branches, leaves and flowers over about a quarter of its circumference, if looking from above. Will it start to grow now on the other sides and even out, or do I need to help it somehow. I can't see any fresh buds starting on the old wood anywhere. Ideas welcome



First check that the growth on the other side still has healthy wood by doing a bark scrape, if so once the light gets in it may respond if not you could try the following, let me give you an eg here, two years back i came across a rhodi that was choked and mostly starved of light, it looked awfull, i left a few of the shoots and the rest of the rhodi i cut back, two years on it has put up plenty of new shoots which are in flower now, but you have to be patient, i have various photos of the different stages of this rhodi along with others showing first cut, bud emergence, new shoot growth and finally them flowering, you can prune rhodis, but there is a method i adopt for doing this, julien.

22 May, 2011


Thanks for this Julien, very helpful. I had another look last night and have seen some tiny buds coming on the bare side of the existing growth, so am hopeful that will start to fill out. The plant also has a separate stump around 2" thick on the bare side about 12" straight out of the ground with no growth/ buds at all. Been reading around a bit and some suggest cutting this back closer to the ground - to 6" or so.

Is a bark scrape just taking a bit off down to the wood ? how big a bit should i expose ?

Thanks again

23 May, 2011


Hello thats a good sign having buds coming through, just a case of being patient now, and possibly cut down a little more on the other stem, re the bark scrape all you need to do is ,with a knife just scrape a small slither on the bark to see if there is healthy wood, ie if you see green then its ok if its brown then try a srape further down, julien.

24 May, 2011


Thanks Julien

26 May, 2011

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