Do not want to cut too much back, which may damage new growth.
by (120 points)

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2 Answers

I've been told rhododendrians will not bloom the next year if they are cut back too far.  Mine were way too tall so cut them back to about 2 ft. from the ground & they came back blooming beautifully this spring.  Expert advice can be found on numerous web sites but this worked for me.
by (220 points)
when you say spikes are you talking about next years buds that have formed and will not open until next year...................then no..................

wait for the cold of winter when the sap is down...don't cut off those buds or you will not have any flowers.......give it a haircut don't overdo it or it will die.
by (150k points)
Agreed if you remove the buds before the they have a chance to mature, you will likely damage the plant.  It is better to wait until its cold before trimming.

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