The Q&A Archives: Lily of the Valley Bush

Question: We bought a Lilly of the Valley bush over a year ago and it has not blossomed yet.The plant looks very healthy and does produce the flower, but it the flower never opens up. We still have the bush in the original pot that it came in. Is there something we should be doing to make them open?

Answer: A major problem with using common names to identify plants is that the names refer to different plants in different regions of the country. Your shrub could be Pieris, Clethra, or Crinodendron. Without knowing which you have, it's hard to determine why it's not blooming. The most likely causes of non-blooming include incorrect exposure to sunlight, too little or too much water, or overfertilizing. I'd suspect your plant isn't getting enough sunlight if it's setting flower buds but they aren't opening fully. Find out what the botanical name of your plant is and then do some research to see whether it requires sunny or shady conditions. Finally, plant your shrub in the ground to give the roots a chance to stretch out and provide the shrub with adequate moisture and nutrients. Following the guidelines above should help your plant perform to its fullest potential.

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