Starting a Rhododendron from a Cutting?

August 28, 2018

How long from planting a cutting till it flowers?



August 28, 20180 found this helpful

Growing Rhododendron from a Cutting

Step 1
Cut the rhododendron at an angle.

Step 2
Put the stem into water.

Step 3
Change water every couple of days.

Step 4
When roots start to form, coat roots in rooting hormone and plant in a potting mix. Use a peat pot, as this can be planted in the ground.

Step 5
Plant in the ground. Fall is the best time. Make an X in the bottom of the peat pot and plant.

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August 28, 20180 found this helpful

These are complicated to start from cuttings...or maybe it's me, as I have had no luck. There are tons of articles on the art of rooting and grafting, with this being the most comprehensive:

This article doesn't say how long until they flower. Other sources I have read say 2 or more years. I am with you in that I hope to learn more from this post!

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August 28, 20180 found this helpful

It usually takes 2 to 3 years for it to mature !!

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August 30, 20180 found this helpful

Rhododendrons are fairly difficult to root. One of the best methods is to air layer a lower limb. You can find several directions on the Internet, both for layering an above ground stem as well as burying a lower limb in the ground.

It is too late in the season to attempt rooting them now as it should be done in late spring. Two years is a good wait time for blooms, although some might bloom the first year. Some varieties root better than others. If you know your variety, you can speak with your local county extension agent about the best way to root your plant.

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August 30, 20180 found this helpful

No, it's not you. Rhodys are difficult to root, I have successfully rooted them. It takes a long time and it isn't easy for the average gardener without commercial means.

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May 13, 20190 found this helpful

Does this method actually work? Everyone else has more complex instructions for starting Rhodes.

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6 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I love the rhododendrons in this area. Can I start a plant from a cutting? If so how? thank you

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By carole from Del Norte Co., CA


May 26, 20102 found this helpful

Step 1 Prepare a pot or planting container by filling it with a 50/50 mixture of perlite and peat moss. Then poke a hole in the peat moss mixture for the cutting using a pencil.

Step 2 Remove the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the cutting, leaving at least four leaves on the cutting.

Step 3 Strip away the thin outer layer or bark of the cutting on one side starting at about 1/2-inch above the bottom and continuing all the way down so that the inner layers are expose on one side. This will help the roots form.

Step 4 Dip the end of the cutting into root growth hormone, making sure to cover the area that you stripped away.

Step 5 Poke the cutting into the pot, with the cut end down, so that it stands straight up.

Step 6 Water the cutting thoroughly.

You can also use sand to root flowers in.

Keep damp. Good luck.

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June 6, 20101 found this helpful

Thank you very much. I am going to try that. wish me luck, carole

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April 21, 2006
Q: I was wondering if there was a way to start an azalea and a rhododendron? I have heard of people clipping a branch and putting it in water (for other plants) and wasn't sure if that were possible with them as well?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thank you VERY much!
Katie from PA

A: Katie,

You can start Azaleas and Rhododendrons with cuttings. Start with terminal 2 to 3 inch cuttings. Remove any leaves and flower buds. With a sharp knife, make a 1-inch slit on each side of the cutting near the base-just deep enough to cut through the bark. This will provide a space for the new roots to emerge. Dip the ends of cuttings in a rooting hormone and insert them 1-inch deep into a small container filled with moist, potting medium made from 50% peat and 50% perlite/vermiculite. Cover each container with a clear, plastic bag (to create a greenhouse effect) and set them in a bright location out of direct sunlight. Fertilizing or further watering shouldn't be necessary until they are transplanted. Root cuttings can be taken anytime, but they are usually most successful when taken in the fall and supplemented with artificial daylight. Take cuttings in the morning when their moisture content is highest. Be patient and expect them to take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to establish a good enough root system for repotting. Plan on starting several in the event that some don't take. Once repotted, fertilizer them once a month.



April 22, 20060 found this helpful

It's a lengthy process but it can be done!

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By Smith (Guest Post)
April 24, 20062 found this helpful

You can take a med. limb from bush. Get root hormone from your garden center, put on limb put in ground. in fall or spring. I find if you will cover with glass jar until it gets warm it will do better. Or sit an old milk jug over it to keep it warm. When it starts to get hot in the spring take it off. You can do lots of bushes like that.

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By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
April 28, 20062 found this helpful

Katie, I've had very good luck with just sticking rhododendron cuttings in the ground. They grow and make a new plant! Yikes. I found it out by accident. Then, someone told me that you can do this with just about any shrub... I've tried azaleas, but they die on me... In all fairness, I should say they came from Virginia so might not be hardy here in PA... I dont even water the cuttings.. just stick them in the ground. I am anxious to try this with forsythia.. (wink) People will tell you that you need rooting hormone, but in the olden days people didnt have that.

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April 25, 20170 found this helpful

You cut a limb of forsythia when it is blooming and stick it in the ground deep enought to cover 2 or 3 nodes and it grows. I haven't tried it except when in bloom. Good luck.

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June 2, 20180 found this helpful

In the old days they used talcum powder. My father did this with rose cutting, too! Be sure to cover with a glass jar, with no part of the rose touching the glass!

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June 3, 20180 found this helpful

In the old days they used talcum powder. My father did this with rose cutting, too! Be sure to cover with a glass jar, with no part of the rose touching the glass!

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March 23, 2020

I have question about my cutting from a rhododendron plant that I started my cutting from. My plant is in a plastic tray. After a few weeks the plant started to die, due to fungus in the soil. I used potting soil. What month is best to take a cutting? Do you cut from the brown part of the stem or only cut from the green part? Is there a rhododendron club I can join?

Thank you.


March 25, 20200 found this helpful

I plant a lot of plants from cuttings. Normally you need the lower end of the stem to staart your new plant. You scrape a small amount off the bottom of the stem and either use soil or a foam to plant the plant with. I normally do not grow my plants in trays because they are rather small and like you said can get a fungus. I use planting soil and a pot to start my plants with. it normally takes 10 to 14 days for me to see the leaves starting to grow again and the roots statring to grow from the stem. You normally can grow plants year round you just need to protect them if you live in a very cold climate.

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March 31, 20200 found this helpful

Rhododendrons can be temperamental. Plastic is always bad because will be source of fungus infections. It's always best to go with natural materials. And always disinfect all your mtaerials, pots, when you start.

Also sometimes even if you do well, sometimes you just get unlucky.

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February 23, 2020

I have been rooting cuttings for about 2 months. I see some new growth starting, but all the leaves are falling off even though they are still green. Is this normal?


February 24, 20200 found this helpful

Any time you try and root a plant from a cutting it is necessary to remove all the leaves before you start to root the plant. Once the roots set on the branch the leaves will start to grow.

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February 25, 20200 found this helpful

This is a transition for your plant. This often happens when seasons change on most Rhododendrons. Providing good soil will help with the growth along with sun light!

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May 24, 2019

How long do I keep the plastic over the clippings for the greenhouse effect? I have the bag over them right now and they seem to be doing well after one week.


May 24, 20190 found this helpful

You can take the bag off when the second set of leaves comes out.

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May 30, 20190 found this helpful

Yes, plastic bag helps boost growth! I usually peek at the soil to see if the roots are growing out. If so then they'll be ready to be planted and out of the plastic bag.

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September 21, 2011

Which fertilizer should I use on rhododendron and azalea cuttings, once a month?

By Nancytag

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