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. Plan to rebuild or maintain beds sooner than beds constructed from treated wood or other materials. If you can, wait until January, when the birds have eaten their fill of the sedum seeds which have fallen to the ground. 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 article has additional information, Pruning Rhododendrons. 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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. We’re still getting plenty of questions to Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. Ornamental grasses are popular in our Northwest gardens, too. Although they are easy maintenance plants, they still require cutting back in the fall. Kym Pokorny | For The Oregonian/OregonLive, Subscribe to newsletters from The Oregonian/OregonLive. Here in the Northwest, there are a variety of plants we call favorites. 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. Trimming rhododendrons for shape tends to sacrifice a few blooms. Then, the new growth that occurs after pruning will have time to set flower buds that will bloom the following spring. 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. 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. Using a naturally decay-resistant wood (redwood, cedar) is more expensive up front but will last a little longer in our wet winters. Give us a call at (360) 265-5231. 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. After the plant is 10 years old, we would not recommend this type of pruning any more.. If you do see new growth, however, make sure to trim carefully, leaving the tender green shoots in place. preferable to southern exposures. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. It might seem like a drastic trim, but these hardy plants will grow back in no time. There are both evergreen and deciduous species of rhododendrons; they grow as shrubs and sometimes as small trees. 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. The common name of Rhododendron macrophyllum is the Pacific, Western, or Coast Rhododendron. – 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. “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. Everyone has a list of “not to use”. The Pacific Northwest has one of the finest rhododendron growing climates in the country. If the soil is not acidic enough, it can be amended with organic matter, such as peat moss. Prune before the blooming season to reduce the number of flowers. Do you have a suggestion for a safe material? What should I use? Rhododendrons, many species of which offer showy displays of large blossoms, are the state flowers of West Virginia and Washington state. Prune back to a whorl of leaves or to an obvious growth point where new green growth is emerging. See: Rhododendron-Phytophthora Root Rot. Not treated lumber. In general, wait until late winter or very early spring to trim back your cool season grasses. Or, use longer bladed hedging shears to make short work of your task. Then, use your pruning shears to trim the stems down to about 3” from the ground. They can be cut to the ground, if desired. Wobbly, lanky branches may indicate that the area has become too shady. The best time to prune rhododendrons is right after the flowers fade. To prevent too much flower loss, look for … – Brooke Edmunds, OSU Extension horticulturist. Prune rhododendrons soon after the blooms fade. You should do this if … Pruning encourages new growth, so pruning in spring gives the new growth time to mature so it can survive winter’s harsh weather. See more ideas about Pruning rhododendrons, Rhododendron, Propagation. The plant will fill in rapidly if properly pruned. (In fact, that’s the only time to prune birch trees and American elms.) The plant likely will survive one-shot surgery, even make a strong recovery, but it is no way to treat an old friend. 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. Pop the stems and any remaining flowers in a vase in the house for a burst of fragrant scent. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. My easternmost hedge I planted within a couple of feet from a “good neighbor” fence that allows sunlight to pass through. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. So, these materials are no longer recommended for use in edible gardens. Rhododendron macrophyllum grows in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less. You can read it here. The lack of sunlight to the lower branches will not harm the trees. Rhododendrons are easy to grow provided you plant them in a good location. Since flower buds are produced in summer, early pruning will allow maximum flower bud production. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. However, any time between the first frost in fall and the last frost in spring (while the sap is low) will work. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. With your pruning shear, carefully prune right below the blossoms where there’s still green. Not redwood. At this … Exposure to constant wind is not desirable, especially the salty Either that or because Forsythia is so popular here look for it coming into bloom. 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. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. You can continue this practice and will be rewarded with plants that have increased branching, and thus more flowers. Click this article to learn more. Prune them in February to between three and twelve inches high. 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. These fast growing, hardy plants can loom 6’ or more in your yard. What’s yours? They add color to our yards and gardens and are generally easy to care for. Locations near high branched trees at the edge of a woodland, or an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal. There are literally 100s of choices. Follow this simple rule: remove any canes that gave you fruit. Pruning is essential to remove dead, dying, and diseased material. Do you have low growing heathers in your yard, like Scotch heathers? T o develop a good structure on young rhododendrons, we tip prune them for their first 5 years. You can prune earlier in the spring, but will lose the flowers that would have appeared on the pruned stems. Best and Worst Time to Prune Rhododendrons. Please support high-quality local journalism. 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. Rhododendrons and azaleas do well with direct light for at least part of the day. This can be frustrating when you want a clear answer. “Autumn Joy” Sedum is a popular plant in Pacific Northwest gardens. When to Prune Trees: Winter. Established plants can be pruned heavily, to at least 1/3 of the growth. For the first application I for years used Green Valley 10-8-6 Rhododendron and Azalea fertilizer. 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. 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. This territory extends along the coastal region from British Columbia through Washington, Oregon and northern California. You’ve probably been deadheading the flowers in your yard, and are ready to tackle larger projects, like trees and shrubs. Remove the oldest, woodiest branches—they’re the ones least likely to flower next year. In the Landscape: Rhododendrons have long been a favorite of landscapers in the Pacific Northwest. They stand at about 8 to 9 feet at present. PH test kits are simple to use and available to purchase at garden centers. But to get the most flowering power, you may need to fertilize. 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. As you have found from your own research, there is data available that has deemed certain materials riskier. Before attempting to plant, test your soil’s pH. You should prune the rhododendron before the buds form so you don’t lop off the following year’s flowers. Join now. Remove all the spent blossoms. – Clatsop County, A: It definitely can be difficult to make a decision about what materials to use to frame a raised bed. 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