Help! How can I get my plant to bloom?
It is a common garden question, “Why won’t my plant bloom?” Our garden experts share the top reasons that your plant is not blooming.
- Overcrowded and need to be divided (maybe every 3-4 years) late July and August
- Too much nitrogen being fed to them (bulb foods are generally lower in N and higher in P and K or even numbers)
- Planted too deep
- Too shady (need ½ or more sun for foliage and tubers)
- Iris borer/disease problems.
- Transplant adjustment (re-rooting)
- Lack of sunlight (need ½ day sun or more)
- Recovering from transplanting (sometimes take a few years to re-establish and flower)
- Immature plants
- Lack of nutrients in the soil
- Over feeding with high nitrogen fertilizer
- Planted too deep (biggest reason)
- Growing conditions previous year not conducive for flower bud formation
- Competition with surrounding plants
- Lack of moisture buds develop but don’t open – frost, disease, drought or too wet.
- Late spring freeze /Severe winter temperatures
- Lack of sunlight (1/2 day or more)
- Pruning too late in the season (prune within 2-3 weeks after flowers are finished blooming)
- Insect or disease stressed plant (scale – borers – powdery mildew)
- Too much old wood and not enough newer – younger growth /Overfeeding of nitrogen
- Immature plant
- Transplant shock
- Summer drought (also too wet)
- Keep soil pH slightly alkaline
- Common old fashioned lilacs are known for inconsistent blooming
- Late spring freeze
- Grown from seed, may take 8-10 years or more before it flowers (look for grafted or named selections which are grown for earlier – consistent flowering)
- Overfed with nitrogen (do not feed wisteria unless using high P & K fertilizer)
- Lack of sun (needs ½ day or more)
- Improper pruning (usually flower better with regular pruning – heavy winter or spring pruning removes buds – encourages vegetative growth)
- Summer drought.
ROSE OF SHARON (flower buds won’t open)
- Too much shade (1/2 day sun or more)
- Buds rot with too much rain or overhead irrigation
- Buds will drop or not open from being too dry due to drought Insect problems
- Excessive nitrogen
SPRING BULBS (DAFFODILS)
- Fed with too much nitrogen (bulb foods are lower in N and higher in P and K or even numbers)
- Bulbs are lacking nutrients
- Plants competing with other plants for water, nutrients, etc.Planted in a too shady area (need ½ day sun)
- Poor drainage in soils (bulbs rot)
- Plant foliage cut off too early or tied up
- Bulbs stressed from transplanting and skip a year of flowering Bulbs not adjusting to climate planted in
- Virus, disease or insect problems
- Growing conditions previous year not conducive for establishing flower buds
- Becoming too crowded and need to be dug and divided (competition with each other)
- Sometimes they just won’t flower, period!
Cincinnati Gardening Made Simple. Still, have a question, ask our horticulturalist email@example.com.