Rooting Rhododendron and Azalea Cuttings
by Donald W. Hyatt


  1. Make short cuttings, 2 to 3 inches long. Remove flower buds and excess foliage. Long cuttings can often be cut into several sections. Azaleas root very easily during the winter months. Take a look at the special page on Dormant Azalea Cuttings.
  2. On rhododendrons, "wound" the base of cuttings by removing some bark on both sides with a sharp knife.
  3. Dip the end of each cutting in a rooting hormone such as Rootone or Dip 'N Grow.
  4. Insert the bottom inch of the cutting into container filled with potting medium ( 1/2 Peat, 1/4 Sand, 1/4 Perlite). Medium should be damp but not wet since excess moisture causes rotting.
  5. Optional: If insects or disease had been present, spray cuttings with insecticide / fungicide mix.
  6. Enclose containers in clear plastic bags, and place in bright window out of direct sun or preferably under fluorescent lights with "long day" conditions (16 to 24 hours of light each day).
  7. Cuttings should root in 2 to 4 months but sometimes it is better to leave them undisturbed for 6 months or more so that a substantial root system will be present before repotting. Even after they are well rooted, still keep on the "dry side" to encourage root growth. Continue to grow under lights or provide cold frame protection the first winter. Very weak fertilzer may be applied to well rooted cuttings but too much will encourage disease problems too, especially under low light conditions such as fluorescent tubes provide.

Copyright © Donald W. Hyatt

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