Rhodo overwatering

sonny300(z8 B.C.)May 16, 2006

My Rhodos are in and amongst Fir and Cedar trees, but enough filtered light to set bud. Last year I had only about 30% bloom, and this year only about 5% (with most of them no flowers at all). Since I retired 2 years ago, I wonder now that I have more time to water, if that is the problem. Anyone think that my suspicions are correct?

My collection is fairly large about 55 Rhodos and 20 Azeleas. Most plants being on-average 8 years old. Any suggestions would be appreciated.. Thanks

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

No, I don't think you are overwatering unless you are making a bog of your woodland, and then your shrubs would be in overall decline and look unhealthy - not just balk at flowering. While I only water established rhododendrons and shrubs every 7 days when it's been dry (a long, deep, slow soak with drip irrigation) my first guess would be increasing shade. How low do the branches on your trees hang, and is there any possibility of limbing them up a bit to let in more light?

Most commons reasons for failure to bloom -

Over-fertilization with a high nitrogen fertilizer.
Drought during late summer when they would be setting buds for the next Springs display.
Failure to deadhead. They are prodigious seed-setters and the formation of seed takes much energy that the plants would otherwise utilize in forming flower buds. Failure to deadhead can lead to heavy flowering every other year with very few blooms in between.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:53AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I looked at your homepage. You need to get a pole pruner and limb up those trees. You also need to make your lawn smaller. Those Rhodies you planted I saw in the picture are going to get bigger than the space allowed at present. I'm doing the same two things in my garden and really like the results.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 11:24AM
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sonny300(z8 B.C.)

Sonny300: re overwatering. Thanks morz8 and botann for you r advice. I`m still in a quandry-why are my azeleas-like Girrards Kathy, red, and hotshot, and Blue Danube, and Scheenglazt, and mothers day all blooming in the same location that my Rhodos are not!! I took pics today at 4:00pm and posted them on my page. Thought that azaleas needed more light than Rhodos? Have limbed up about as far as I can -mulching with steralized manure, lightly.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 7:05PM
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