Rhododendrons: Broken rhodo branches

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Alf, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Alf

    Alf Member

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    This winter we got some heavy wet snow that broke a couple of large, healthy branches off of one of my prized rhodos. The plant is about 5' high and the branches are a couple of feet long, and haven't broken off completely and still look healthy, but the breaks look irrevocable. Can these branches be salvaged somehow (e.g. planted)? I'd hate to just cut them off and throw them away!

    On a side note, what can I do to encourage the plant to fill-in the gaps left by the missing branches.

    Thx. Alf (Chilliwack, BC)
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Best I can suggest is to use them as a source of scions for grafting onto other rhododendron rootstocks.
     
  3. Alf

    Alf Member

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    Thanks, Michael, for your reply. Do you know if it is possible to cut stems from the branch and use a rooting hormone to propagate new plants?
     
  4. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There is certainly nothing to lose if you try to root the branches, assuming you want new identical plants. But maybe you should look into layering or airlayering instead, as they have the advantage of still being attached.

    As for filling in, most rhodos will sprout from below cuts.
     
  5. Alf

    Alf Member

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    I'm not familiar with (air)layering. Can you elaborate? Thx.
     
  6. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  7. Alf

    Alf Member

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    Thanks!
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    After the bad bushfires in 1983 Many of the beautiful big Rhodos (trees we used to climb a few of them) were badly damaged. The method of getting them to regenerate new growth was to prune them. It did not take too long for the new growth to generate. 20 + years later they are better than ever. I would try and make your cuttings and then remove the broken branches.

    Liz
     

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