How to Deadhead Rhododendrons


A healthy rhododendron shrub may produce a bounty of beautiful blossoms in the early summer. Because the rhododendron puts forth so many flowers, if you do not deadhead the spent rhododendron blossoms, the plant may spend important energy on seed production instead of focusing energies on the next summer's blooming. Keep a careful eye on a rhododendron shrub as it concludes its blossoming cycle and remove every blossom promptly as it fades to keep the plant thriving.

Step 1

Put on a pair of gardening gloves. Rhododendron leaves contain a toxic coating, and many rhododendron varieties contain a sticky coating that will quickly cover your hands as you work with the shrub.

Step 2

Remove each faded rhododendron blossom from the shrub promptly upon wilting. Clip the blossoms from the stems with the pruning shears just above the point where a cluster of leaves grows beneath the blossom.

Step 3

Collect the blossoms in the basket as you remove them. Dump the blossoms into a compost bin or in the garbage. Do not allow the blossoms to litter the soil around the rhododendron shrub because the blossoms may precipitate fungal infections in the shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Basket


  • Fraser South Rhododendron Society: Rhododendron Basics
  • Seattle Pi: Deadhead and Prune your Rhododendrons
Keywords: healthy rhododendron shrub, spent rhododendron blossoms, remove every blossom, deadhead

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.