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rhody buds produced foliage instead of flowers

Posted by katiekind z7 western KY (My Page) on
Sat, May 14, 05 at 13:57

I don't know anything about rhododendrons but I planted two of them last year. They flowered beautifully. When the flowers faded I plucked them off the plant.

This year I thought I had a new round of buds but when they opened they were all leaves, not flowers.

How do I care for my rhodies so they will flower? I guess I need Rhododendron 101.

Thanks to anyone who cares to help!

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RE: rhody buds produced foliage instead of flowers

  • Posted by MorZ8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, May 14, 05 at 16:21

It's not unusual for rhododendrons to spend their first year in the ground developing a root system and adding to the framework instead of flowering...the buds that were on your plants last year and bloomed were produced in nursery conditions the previous year.

So, be patient...if the foliage looks healthy there is nothing you need to do. They will of course appreciate an organic mulch over their root zones to slowly feed and condition the soil, and regular water.

If later you find you have a problem with flowering, the most common reasons are too much shade, overfertilization (produces foliage not flower buds), drought in summer when they would be setting their buds for the following year,'s sounds like you already knew that failure to deadhead can produce sparse flowering every other year.

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