I have two huge matched rhododendrons near the corner of my
house. Suddenly, this spring, one of them had what appeared
to be many dead branches on it. I was devastated. BUT I
procrastinated, probably because the thought of cutting off
those branches hurt so much. It would never look the same and
probably was on the road to a certain doom--or so I thought.
Well, lo and behold. Today I saw new leaves on those branches
that had looked so dead. I am so happy! The moral of the
story: don't give up on those dead-looking branches until
after the rhododendron starts its seasonal growth. :-)
(PS My neighbor prunes his rhododendrons into perfect
geometrical shapes right before it's going to bloom. He has
even trimmed it just as it had come into bloom....)
My azaleas always start out the spring looking dead with nothing but
brown leaves, and then burst into enthusiastic leaf and bloom.
They seem to be very tough plants. I had a florist shop gift azalea of
the type that is not supposed to be hardy that I'd kept for a couple
years. I'd put it in the garden in the summer and it would occasionally
flower. Last year, I didn't have much room in the house for plants, so
I had to be more selective and I moved the florist azalea to a shady
spot next to my woods, never expecting to see it again.
It looked like dead wood for a few weeks this spring, then it put out
the tiniest leaves. It's now mostly leafed out. And that was after a
winter with very cold temperatures and NO snow cover.
Heh. I'm in Massachusetts too, so I know a bit about that.
I hadn't seen such dead-looking branches come back to life
before, so I was thrilled. I'm glad you, too, have had some
rebirth in this family.
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