It’s always nice to get a lot of impressions on my LinkedIn posts. It’s hardly the norm; it happens very occasionally. My best post from 2023 so far is close to getting 1300 impressions. That’s basically viral territory for Red Seal Vas. That got me thinking: why was it so interesting? Let’s see.
First, the key picture.
What do you notice about this picture? Obviously, only the right side of this rhododendron is covered in blooms in 2023. That’s weird, so we have to back up to late summer 2022. That’s when we had a worker on staff eager to show off her pruning skills. She came to us from a job where she pruned full-time and she clearly needed a break from lawn care and finesse work.
She made it to half way before we stopped her. Why stop her? So we can give some respect to a rhododendron pruning rule:
Prune rhododendrons soon after flowering, before new buds set for next season.
Our eager apprentice was pruning months after flowering. This didn’t register much until the early part of the season in 2023. That’s when I took the above picture. Now it was clear. The buds on the right had a chance to set for next year and flowered nicely; the ones on the left got sheared off and now that part was bare.
Nice and neat
I think my post works because it clearly states an important rule about rhododendron pruning and proves it with one picture. It’s nice and neat; it’s correct and we see proof. The eager apprentice is long gone but this pruning job wasn’t the reason for her departure. Sadly, she may not even be aware of this post. In any case, this is a great teaching moment, not a reason to let someone go.
This is why landscaping is such a great career. You are constantly learning and this post clearly illustrates the importance of knowing how and when to prune. It’s an art so keep learning. I know I am. I could pack it in and relax with my Red Seal status but that’s not me. I want to know it all, including rhododendron pruning rules.