How to Root Rhododendrons


Rhododendrons thrive in almost every region of the United States. The rhododendron shrub, with its prolific blossoms in a range of colors, will complement many landscape designs. When you have a favorite rhododendron growing in your garden, it is natural to want to propagate it.

Step 1

Prepare the planting container by mixing one part peat moss, one part perlite and one part sand. Fill the planting container almost to the top with this mixture. Use the spray bottle to mist the soil to moisten it slightly.

Step 2

Examine the rhododendron plant at the end of the growing season and find a tender shoot without a bud. Use the pruning shears to remove the top 2 inches.

Step 3

Use the utility knife to remove two small portions of the outer part of the stem just above the bottom. These cuts will help create a larger area for the stem to develop roots.

Step 4

Mix one part bleach and nine parts cold water in the small container. Add the entire cutting to the bleach mixture and leave it in the bleach for approximately 5 minutes. This will ensure there are no insects or other bacteria lurking on the cutting. Shake the excess bleach mixture off the stem when removing it and rinse it under cold running water.

Step 5

Prepare the rooting compound according to package directions and dip the cut end of the stem in the rooting compound for 5 seconds.

Step 6

Place the cutting into the prepared planting container immediately. Insert the stem approximately 1 inch into the soil, then put the planting container into the plastic bag and seal the bag around it.

Step 7

Set the bagged container under a grow light and keep the grow light on for at least 18 out of every 24 hours. Do nothing with the cutting until the next spring. It will take a minimum of three months for the cutting to root and perhaps much longer. When you see new leaves on the cutting, remove the container from the bag and plant outside (as long as all threat of frost is over).

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container (4-inch diameter)
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Sand
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Small container
  • Rooting compound
  • Re-sealable plastic bag (gallon size)
  • Grow light


  • Rooting Rhododendron
Keywords: rhododendrons, rhododendron cutting, propagate rhododendrons

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributer to Natural News. She is an avid gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and computer user. She is interested in natural health and hopes to direct her focus toward earning an RN degree.