Answer: How perplexing -- and disappointing. This rhododendron is very cold hardy and heat resistant and usually a reliable bloomer. The drought we experienced last year could have reduced the formation of buds due to stress, but most plants seem to have managed to set some buds regardless.
The most common reason for no blooms at all is pruning at the wrong season. These plants bloom on wood that grew the previous summer, so if you pruned in mid to late summer, last fall, winter, or earlier this spring you would have removed the blooming wood/flower buds for this year. The only time rhododendrons should be cut back is immediately following blooming within a week or two of when the blooms fade. If the lack of bloom was caused by pruning, things should be back to normal next year, assuming ill-timed pruning is avoided.
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