A rhododendron can grow to an unwieldy and unsightly size, so to make sure that it's being properly maintained, you will want to trim it every year. Trimming a rhododendron isn't too difficult a task, but it will be important to note the following things before trimming your rhododendron.
Always Use Clean, Sharp Shears
For clean trimming that takes little effort and doesn't damage your rhododendron, be sure to use sharp shears. You will also want to make sure they are sterile before and after use because you may have to cut off dead and diseased parts of your rhododendron and you don't want to spread anything from one part of the plant to other parts.
Trim to Avoid Overgrowing its Space
Your rhododendron can grow to an incredibly large size if you let it, but you will want to trim it so that it isn't this big, ugly monster, and you will also want to trim your rhododendron so that when it grows again, next year, it won't be so large but will be a tolerable size for when you are ready to trim it again.
Clear Branches for Sun and Air Circulation
The branches of your rhododendron will likely grow near each other, creating dense areas of branches, which prevent proper air flow and shade your plant from the sun. Clear away some of these branches so that there is more open space between existing branches allowing for sun to shine in and air to properly circulate which helps the rhododendron's health and growth.
Trim Right After the Winter
The best time to trim your rhododendron is after the winter, when the freezing temperatures and bad weather have passed and when your plant isn't in the growing stages yet. At this time, you can start trimming to prepare for spring and summer growth and give your plant enough time to grow new and matured branches that will be able to handle the rough winter next time.