The Q&A Archives: button bush

Question: We have a very small button bush that was originally near a pond. Now it is planted under a window air conditioner, so it gets dripped on some during the summer. The water hose does not reach to that spot, so the drip and rain are the only water it gets. This is the second summer we've had it; it had buttons on it last year, and this year it is full of buttons. We bought a very large button bush from a local nursery last summer, and tho it is very healthy looking, it still does not have any

Answer: Your button bush is Cephalanthus occidentalis. It grows best in sunny areas and grows fastest in moist soil near a pond, but often grows in shallow standing water.

Aside from exposure to sunshine (which you didn't mention), I can't imagine why your larger plant is not blooming. Don't fertilize this year. Sometimes too much nitrogen fertilizer can promote the development of lush green growth, at the expense of blooms. Hope it blooms for you next year!

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