How to Take Rhododendron Cuttings


Many people are familiar with the type of rhododendron known as the azalea, a popular choice when giving a flowering potted house plant. Rhododendrons are also used to brighten the landscape, and prefers light shade and a warm climate. One way to start a new rhododendron is to take a cutting from a parent plant. This cutting is referred to as a softwood cutting.

Step 1

Plan to take the cutting from the parent rhododendron during the spring or early summer.

Step 2

Sanitize your gardening shears. If you use dirty shears, you risk spreading disease from one plant to another.

Step 3

Look for a branch or stem that is new growth. Seek out a young stem that is green, with new leaves established. If you were to bend it and it snapped like a fresh asparagus stalk, it would be the correct maturity.

Step 4

Cut off a 5 to 7 inch piece of the stem. Avoid stems with weak growth or stems with excessively aggressive growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears


  • Flowering Shrubs; James Crockett; 1972

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University; Azalea and Rhododendron Care and Culture; R.A. McNeilan; 2001
  • Ohio State University; Rhododendron
Keywords: Rhododendron Cuttings, softwood cutting, Rhododendron

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.