The Q&A Archives: Getting Champaca to bloom

Question: I purchased one of your Champacas about 3 years ago. It is growing and has many leaves but, so far, has not flowered. I am in the city on sandy soil. The tree is in full sun. I know of one that is very near the ocean that blooms beautifully. Please help. Also, please do not add my name or email to any promotional lists. I am very happy with the Monrovia plants and products I have from Sloat. Thank you for your prompt response.

Answer: There are a number of things that can retard flowering in trees and shrubs. The most common cause is immaturity - as soon as your tree matures enough to maintain health and support new growth, it should have enough reserve energy to produce flowers, as well. As second common cause of non-flowering is over-fertilization. Too much nitrogen can produce lots of lush, new growth at the expense of flowers. Finally, if you've pruned your Champaca, you may have inadvertantly cut off the flower buds. As long as your tree looks otherwise healthy, and it's getting enough sunshine and water, it should produce flowers - as soon as it is old enough. There's nothing you need to do to encourage flowering, other than to withhold excessive fertilizer applications and refrain from pruning. As soon as it's ready, it will begin flowering. Believe me, it will be worth the wait - Champaca tree flowers are some of the most fragrant around! Best wishes with your Champaca tree.

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