bkbarbara
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Dried Rhododendron Flowers

I am a gardening novice, and bought a rhododendron plant from a garden store 3 weeks ago. After planting into a new pot, I have been watering the plant every day. The flowers bloomed beautifully for the first 1-1.5 weeks. Now, the flowers are all dried and turning brown. The leaves still appear very healthy. What should I do?

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applestar
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Re: Dried Rhododendron Flowers

I expect the blooming period for the rhodo is over now. Are there any new buds and leaves starting to grow from where the blooms were yet? The way to deadhead Rhododendrons is to hold the flowerstalk at the base where there are several segments in the stem, and sort of quick bend/snap. The stem should break off just above a segment with three bumps. These three bumps will grow new buds and sets of leaves... And eventually branches.

If the buds are starting to grow already, it's hard not to damage them in the grab-and-snap process, so it's better to use pruners to cut just above the three buds/leaf stalks.

If you need to prune the shrub, this is also the time to cut off or cut shorter any undesirable branches. If you wait another month, it will be too late and you risk cutting off next year's flower buds.
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bkbarbara
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Re: Dried Rhododendron Flowers

Thank you! After I deadhead, will the plant bloom again this season?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dried Rhododendron Flowers

No, rhododendrons only bloom once in the spring, for about three weeks, and then they are done. Within a couple months after blooming, they will start setting the buds for next year's blooms. That was applestar's caution about pruning. If you cut off the buds for next year's blooms then no flowers next year.
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