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How to Prune a Miniature Rhododendron

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Miniature rhododendrons are smaller versions of the regular-sized rhododendrons grown in gardens today. The miniature ones can grow up to 6 feet tall and have smaller leaves and flowers than normal rhododendrons. Unlike miniature azaleas, miniature rhododendrons are often cold hardy enough to live outdoors for most of the year in many parts of the U.S., some varieties being hardy down to below 15 degrees F. Like all rhododendrons, they need well-drained and slightly acidic soil. According to the American Rhododendron Society, they do not need to be pruned very often.

Cut off any dead or fading flowers as they occur. Hold the base of the flower with one hand and cut it off of the miniature rhododendron plant at the base with the scissors.

Trim off any dead, damaged or diseased foliage at the crook of the branch with the pruning shears or scissors, if it is a small branch. Disinfect the pruning shears or scissors between each cut by wiping them down with bleach to avoid spreading any diseases.

Cut back any over reaching foliage, branches that grow out of the bounds of the rest of the miniature rhododendron, at the base of the branch with the scissors or pruning shears. Make the cut right before the crook in the branch. Shape the miniature rhododendron the way you desire. Over reaching foliage can be trimmed back as it occurs during the year.


Things You Will Need

  • Scissors
  • Pruning shears
  • Bleach


  • Miniature rhododendrons can be cut back severely if needed, but they may not bloom for several years.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.