What to do with pine needles around my rhododendron ?

I have a GIANT rhodi shrub / tree , and pine trees. I have several inches of pine needles on the ground around the base of the plant. I know that is good to help keep moisture there as well as insulating from cold weather and snow. My question is , do i rake out some of it, before more pine needles fall ? Or is it better to clean it out in the spring ? Or just leave it alone all together. ? Thanks !

  3 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Oct 14, 2018

    You can leave the pine needles under and out to the edge of the leaves as roots grow out that far. Pine needles disintegrate slowly and add nutrients to the soil. Just add more on top as they disintegrate.

  • Bijous Bijous on Oct 14, 2018

    Hi. Pine needles can be a great use of a natural resource, but too much of anything can be a problem. As the new needles fall, mow them. That way, the yard is nice and neat, the needles do their thing and it's quicker to run the mower than raking. Leave the bag off the mover. Happy gardening!

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Oct 15, 2018

    Leaving them under the plant will help insulate the plant over the winter. In the spring you can remove them, or most of them. You want to make sure the pine needles don't get too deep during its growth periods, just like mulch.

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