Taking Rhododenderon Cuttings


The rhododendron is a landscape workhorse. Whether deciduous or evergreen, the rhododendron fills many niches, from foundation plantings to freeway media buffers. There are over 800 species of rhododendron, from flowering shrubs to trees. They are easy to care for and thrive in moist, acidic soil. Propagation by cuttings may take some time, but the results are well worth your patience. Take the cuttings after the plant begins producing new growth.

Step 1

Take growth that is one to six months old. Snip 4 inches from the tip of the stem. Place the cuttings into a plastic bag on top of a moist paper towel. Seal the bag and keep it out of direct sunlight.

Step 2

Moisten equal parts of peat moss and sand and pour it into the pot. Use a pencil or other sharp instrument to create planting holes for the cuttings.

Step 3

Remove the rhododendron cutting from the bag and place it on a flat work surface. Remove all but two leaves at the top of the cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut into the bottom of the stem to expose the inside layer. The cut should be 1/2 inch long. Roll the cutting over and make an identical cut on the other side.

Step 4

Dip the cuttings into the rooting hormone until the cuts you made are covered in hormone. Stick the cuttings into the prepared holes and pack the soil around them.

Step 5

Build a frame by bending a piece of wire, such as a coat hanger, into an upside down "u" shape. Place the ends of the wire into the soil. Place the pot in the plastic bag and adjust the bag so that the wire frame is holding it away from the cuttings.

Step 6

Place the bagged cutting on a heat mat set to 70 degrees F. Do not allow the cuttings to sit in direct sun. Depending upon variety, rooting can take anywhere from six weeks up to one year.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towel
  • Peat moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Wire or coat hanger
  • Heat mat


  • Fraser South Rhododendron Society: Rhododendron Basics
  • American Rhododendron Society: Use in the Landscape
  • Oregon State University: Rhododendron
Keywords: take rhododendron cuttings, root rhododendron cuttings, propagate rhododendron

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.