The Q&A Archives: Bloomless Golden Chain Tree

Question: I have a goldenchain tree that won't bloom. I have had it for 4 years and it still has not bloomed. The tree is all to gether 7 years old. It lives underneath a silver maple that has a healthy appetite for water and nutrients. Is there something that I am doing wrong?

Answer: Goldenchain (Labernum x wateri) prefers a location in sun with perhaps some protection at midday because it will not tolerate a "hot" location, in my experience a spot in full morning sun is good. It also needs to be protected from winter winds as excessive chill can limit flowering; flower buds can also be zapped by a late frost. Finally, it really prefers a rich and moist yet well drained soil (meaning not soggy -- it will not grow in a saturated location). If you can meet all of its requirements, it will bloom. This plant grows beautifully in England, but can be difficult here. I also suspect your maple is giving it a serious run for its money.

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