The Q&A Archives: Why no blooms?

Question: I bought two Monrovia dogwood trees from a local nursery in 200, planting them right away. They both were in full bloom at the time.

One is a Cornus kousa chinensis, the other a Cornus x Rutgan.

Neither dogwood has had any blooms in 2003, 2004 and , to date, in 2005. They get full sun for about 7 hours a day along with plenty of water. I have not fertilized them since they were planted.

What can be done to stimulate these dogwood trees to bloom?

Answer: Dogwoods often take a year or two or three to settle in after transplanting and regain strength enough to bloom. They may also need to reach a certain amount of maturity, say four or five years, in order to bloom. Improper pruning can also remove flower buds; keep in mind these trees bloom in late spring to early summer, well after the native dogwoods and as a rule require little to no pruning. However, after five years, these more common reasons would not seem to explain away the delay. If your trees look otherwise healthy, the problem might be with soil acidity. Dogwoods prefer slightly acidic soils (5.8 pH). Have your soil checked and if you need to lower the pH, a soil test will suggest just how to accomplish the reduction. Best wishes with your dogwoods!

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