The Q&A Archives: Vulcan Rhododendron failing to bloom

Question: My neighbor has a vulcan she purchased last year. It never bloomed last year. So far this year it is not blooming either. She takes very good care of it too. I just purchased a different kind of rhododendron and it is blooming beautifully and quickly. Why isn't hers blooming? Is there something she can do to

Answer: There are only a few reasons why rhododendrons fail to bloom. Immaturity, wrong planting location, and poor pruning practices. It may be that the Vulcan is just too young to bloom. Only time will improve its blooming ability. Vulcan grows best in partial sun so make sure it is protected from hot afternoon sunshine. All rhododendrons produce flower and leaf buds the summer before their spring flush of bloom and growth. If the buds are accidentally pruned off or damaged during the winter months, there will be no flowers the following spring. Again, you'll just have to wait all summer for new buds to be developed before you see an improvement in your Vulcan. Check to see how its developing later this summer. New buds at the tips of the stems should be apparent by then. Long, skinny buds will be next year's leaves; short, fat buds will be next year's flowers.


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