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The Ins-n-Outs of Rhododendron

The Ins-and-Outs of Rhododendron

A woody tree that bursts with beautiful blooms in trusses and grows beautifully in moderate and moist climates. Our Vancouver Island Westshore climate is a hub for such natural growing beauty. Rhododendron are excellent garden variety shrubs although their blooms are not conducive to surviving off the tree. The woody stems starve for their roots and dry up quickly off their trunk. That is not to say the blooms cannot be enjoyed o the table however in this condition they will stay plush for less then a few days. Therefore, if one is set to enjoy these lovely flowers indoors, they might consider them as an accent flower set for an event where they are required to look their best for just 24 to 48 hours.

Petals n Buds florist and specialize in arranging cut flowers verses horticultural care and therefore, we are going to provide care and design tips for the Rhododendron branches off the shrub, rather then its care requirements in the garden.

Make sure the rhododendron has been watered well one to two days before removing branches. This will ensure that the plant is sufficiently hydrated and flowers will live their longest once cut from the plant.

Sanitize the tools and bucket before using on the tree. Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. You may also use this solution for the clippings before placing them into fresh water.

Branches near the bottom of the shrub will last longer then cuttings from the top. After cutting, clean the branch by removing all the leaves and twigs at least four inches from the bottom and dip the stem into the disinfectant solution for 30 seconds.

Cut stem on an angle and vertically up the stem with clean razor sharp precision. Rhododendron are woody, and woody stems are less porous. They need access to direct clean water a (avoid floral aqua-foam). Do not crush the stem or core of the Rhododendron because you will damage the cell structure of the plant and remove its capability to draw water toward the bloom.

You may dip the stem in alum spice before submerging the stems into fresh water there are mentions by others who believe this is beneficial and strengthens the cell structure of the cutting.


All the parts of Rhododendrons are dangerous if consumed, especially the leaves and ingested will produce stomach irritation, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rate and rhythm, convulsions, coma, and potentially death. Be aware that honey made from the nectar of Rhododendron flowers is also toxic and should not be consumed.

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