My rhody is growing new stalks and leaves instead of blooming

johndixonJune 7, 2014

For the first year ever my rhody appears not to be blooming. Instead where the flowers should be there are new stalks and leaves growing from the middle of the existing ones where the flowers should be. The new stalks and leaves are not even the same dark colour green, they are a much lighter shade of green. I am finding this strange and frustrating as it's been a great blooming rhody for the last 2 years. Please help!

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akamainegrower

Were flower buds present late last summer/early fall? If they were and you experienced a colder than normal winter, flower buds were likely killed. They can also be killed by a late frost that occurs after they have begun to swell. You should still be able to see them, but they will be brown and shrunken. If no flower buds were set on a rhododendron that had previously been a reliable bloomer, you need to look for another cause. Too much shade, nutritional deficiency are possibilities.

They current growth pattern sounds perfectly normal. New growth is always a paler green which will darken as it matures.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 5:52AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Many of my more tender rhodie varieties had killed buds this winter. OP's profile, though, says they are in the UK, which didn't see a particularly hard winter.

OTOH their foliar hardiness was generally good, which seems to indicate that the rhodie community is generally realistic in their hardiness assessments. For example: Gardenia 'Kleim's Hardy' has been marketed as zone 7 hardy for well over a decade. This year a large bush in a sheltered spot was completedly killed to the ground and is returning only weakly from the roots. OTOH, 'Captain Jack', which is my favorite red, did lose its buds, but had completely intact foliage, even though it isn't in a very sheltered spot. I did lose an unusual lepidote hybrid involving the maddenii series, but it was only rated as hardy to 10F and I had backup plants in pots. My low was "only" 3F but it occurred several times and there were several precipituous drops from above freezing.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 13:25

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:23PM
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