Rhododendron won't bloom - Knowledgebase Question

Lees Summit, MO
Avatar for pjleg
Question by pjleg
May 21, 2007
My Rhododendrons won't bloom. They stay green all winter, but when spring/summer comes nothing happens. Both of them are planted in full sun, but they don't seem to be growing at all. They've been the same size since I planted them 2 years ago. What could be the problem? I have one in my front yard I bought last year and it had flowers earlier this month. It is in part-sun.

Answer from NGA
May 21, 2007
Rhodies like humus rich acidic soil and regular moisture during the growing season. Your shrubs may be getting too much afternoon sun, inadequate water, or the soil is too alkaline for them to thrive. If you have room, why not move them to a site where they will be in morning sun and afternoon shade? While you're at it, amend the planting site with organic matter (compost, peatmoss, etc.) prior to planting. This will help loosen the soil for good root growth, plus lower the pH. When you fertilize, be sure to use an acidified fertilizer - one made specifically for rhodies and azaleas. Since rhodies develop flower buds during the summer months for the following spring's floral display, they'll need to be watered regularly during the summer months. Apply one inch of water per week and you should see a difference in their performance.

Best wishes with your rhodies!

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