Rhodendrons Won't Bloom - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Johnette Beacham
New York, NY
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Question by jobeacham
May 27, 2000
I have a mostly shady walled townhouse garden in the city. When I plant rhodendrons, they bloom only the first year. The plants seem very healthy and have lots of new growth -- they just have no blooms. I use Hollytone fertilizer and give them plenty of water. Why won't my rhodendrons bloom?

Answer from NGA
May 27, 2000
Based on your description, I would suspect they may not be receiving enough sun. Another possibility would be improper pruning, if you are pruning to maintain size or encourage compactness, prune only in late spring and early summer right after they would have bloomed for the season. Pruning earlier in spring would remove flower buds, later in summer would remove next year's blooming wood.

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