Early in spring I pruned back a rhododendron on one side due to
disease. I recognize this was an error now as other diseased parts of
the plant recovered well. The bush is inbalanced now and I see tiny
little sprouts on the main trunk on the bare side that appear, look
promising, but do not seem to grow. Will this bush eventually fill out
It probably will, but it will take time. Rhododendrons don't grow a lot
in any given year. The sprouts you see are dormant or adventitious
buds. They sprout if the plant sees a need. In your case the plant saw
the need and they sprouted. They are actually triggered by the increase
in light and decrease in food production from the leaves you cut off.
You can help it along by pinching leaf buds on the good side of the
plant until the bad side catches up. If you look closely, there are two
types of buds now. The flower buds and the leaf buds. They will be
easier to tell apart in early spring when the flower buds swell. Then
the skinny buds will be the leaf or foliage buds. If you are careful you
can break off some of the leaf buds on the good side without hurting the
flower buds. This will stimulate more growth on the bad side.
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