Help! One rhododendron bloomed, the other didn't!

crixieMay 25, 2006

Purchased together and planted two years ago. Last year beautiful blooms on both.

This year blooms on only one (bloomed a little over a week ago); the other: no blooms but putting out new leaves. The are planted under -- but not close to the root system of -- a peach tree. They are about eight feet from each other and stand a little over four feet tall. I have fed them both Holly-tone at the time(s) and the in the amount suggested.

Does anyone have a clue as to why one didn't blossom?

I also have two small azaleas in the front of the house left by the former owner; they have bloomed faithfully for three years, but this year they didn't bloom either! There is no sign of disease on any of them. In fact, the rhodo that didn't bloom appears to be the heartier of the two. What could be going on?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Is there any difference in the amount of shade your shrubs are gettings? Could the peach be increasing in size to be producing more shade in summer?

Shade, drought in summer when buds would be set for the next Springs blooms, and overfertilization are common reasons for failure of established rhododendrons/azaleas to bloom. I haven't used Hollytone, but it appears to be 4-6-4 and while that isn't a lot of nitrogen, it may be more than your shrubs need. Were you fertilizing in response to symptoms you needed to correct?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:17PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

HollyTone and most other fertilizer manufacturers recommend at least twice the amount of fertilizer you really should use. It helps sales but may reduce the amount of flowers you get. To set flower buds the plants need sun, adequate moisture, and not too much nitrogen during the summer before they bloom. That is when they set buds. For that reason you should not prune after Spring is over.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:19PM
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