The Q&A Archives: Tree not blooming

Question: I have had a rose of sharon tree for four years now and it does not like to bloom. It will get very heavy with buds, but rarely blooms. What do you think is wrong.

Answer: I can't tell from your description of the problem so I'll suggest a couple of possibilities:

If your plant looks otherwise healthy, the bud drop could be caused by gall midge. Place some buds in a sealable plastic bag. After a day or two, you may see the very small yellowish worm-like larva on the plastic. Control the midge affecting buds with Orthene sprays as recommended on the label.

Shrub Althaea (Rose of Sharon) is subject to a disease called bud blight, caused by Botrytis. It's possible that your plant has this problem but it's impossible to tell without seeing it. You might want to take a sample of the problem to your local Extension office for positive ID and registered controls in your gardening region.

Hope this information is helpful.

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