Expert Advice on Propagating Rhododendron through Suckers

Expert Advice on Propagating Rhododendron through Suckers

Are you looking to expand your garden with beautiful rhododendron plants? Propagating rhododendron through suckers is a great way to grow new plants from existing ones. In this article, we will provide expert advice on how to successfully propagate rhododendron through suckers. From identifying the right suckers to the best propagation techniques, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more!

Understanding Rhododendron Suckers

When it comes to propagating rhododendrons, one method that is often overlooked is through suckers. Understanding what suckers are and how to identify them can be key to successfully propagating your rhododendron plants.

What are Rhododendron Suckers?

Suckers are essentially new shoots that grow from the roots of the parent plant. They are genetically identical to the parent plant and can be used to propagate new rhododendron plants. Suckers are a natural method of propagation for many plants, including rhododendrons.

Identifying Rhododendron Suckers

Identifying rhododendron suckers is relatively easy. They typically emerge from the ground near the base of the parent plant and have their own set of leaves and stems. Suckers can sometimes be mistaken for weeds, so it’s important to carefully inspect any new growth near your rhododendron plants to determine if they are indeed suckers.

Benefits of Propagating through Suckers

There are several benefits to propagating rhododendrons through suckers. One of the main advantages is that suckers are genetically identical to the parent plant, ensuring that the new plants will have the same desirable traits. Additionally, propagating through suckers can be a cost-effective and efficient way to increase your rhododendron collection.

In conclusion, understanding rhododendron suckers and how to propagate them can be a valuable tool for any gardener looking to expand their rhododendron plants. By properly identifying and utilizing suckers, you can easily increase your rhododendron population with little effort.

Preparing for Propagation

When it comes to propagating rhododendron through suckers, it’s important to be well-prepared. This process requires careful planning and attention to detail in order to ensure successful propagation.

Choosing the Right Time

The best time to propagate rhododendron through suckers is in the early spring or late summer. This is when the plant is actively growing and most likely to produce healthy and vigorous suckers. It’s important to choose a time when the plant is not under stress, as this can affect the success of the propagation process.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you begin propagating rhododendron through suckers, make sure you have the right tools and materials on hand. You will need a sharp pair of pruning shears, a clean cutting surface, rooting hormone, a small pot filled with potting soil, and a misting bottle. These tools and materials will help you successfully propagate your rhododendron.

Preparing the Mother Plant

Before you start propagating rhododendron through suckers, it’s important to prepare the mother plant. Start by selecting a healthy and vigorous rhododendron plant with plenty of suckers to choose from. Carefully remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any suckers that are weak or unhealthy. This will help ensure that the suckers you choose for propagation are strong and healthy, increasing the likelihood of successful propagation.

Propagating Rhododendron Suckers

If you’re looking to expand your rhododendron garden, propagating through suckers is a great way to do so. Suckers are the new shoots that grow from the base of the plant and can be separated to create new plants. Here are three methods for propagating rhododendron through suckers:

Method 1: Digging and Separating Suckers

To propagate rhododendron through suckers using this method, start by digging around the base of the plant to expose the suckers. Carefully separate the suckers from the main plant using a sharp knife or garden shears. Make sure each sucker has its own roots attached. Plant the separated suckers in a new location with well-draining soil and water regularly until they establish themselves.

Method 2: Air Layering

Air layering is another effective method for propagating rhododendron suckers. To do this, select a healthy and vigorous sucker from the plant and wound a small section of the stem by making a shallow cut. Apply rooting hormone to the wounded area and wrap it in moist sphagnum moss. Secure the moss with plastic wrap and wait for roots to develop. Once roots have formed, carefully separate the rooted section and plant it in a pot with soil.

Method 3: Cutting and Rooting Suckers

For this method, select a healthy sucker and cut it from the main plant using a sharp knife. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the cutting and dip it in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining soil and place it in a warm, bright location. Keep the soil consistently moist and within a few weeks, roots should begin to develop. Once the cutting has established roots, it can be transplanted into the garden.

By utilizing these methods for propagating rhododendron through suckers, you can easily expand your rhododendron collection and enjoy beautiful blooms for years to come.


In conclusion, propagating rhododendron through suckers can be a rewarding and relatively simple process when done correctly. By following the expert advice outlined in this article, gardeners can successfully propagate new rhododendron plants from existing suckers, helping to expand their garden and create a beautiful landscape. Remember to choose healthy suckers, provide the right growing conditions, and be patient as the new plants establish themselves. With dedication and care, gardeners can enjoy the beauty of rhododendrons for many years to come.