no blooms on my dogwoods - Knowledgebase Question

aberdeen, Ma
Question by rickwalker19
March 14, 2010
Over the last 3 years my white dogwoods bloom less and less, one tree gets buds but die before blooming

Answer from NGA
March 14, 2010


If your trees look otherwise healthy, the failure to bloom might be attributed to climate. Any temperature fluctuations that have occurred right after bloom can stop flower bud production. We have found that night time cooling along with mid day bright sun has a dramatic impact on whether a Dogwood will set flower buds for next year or not. Temperature becomes rather important in a cooler climate as Dogwoods prefer warmth during the day yet like night time cooling to set buds. If temperatures are too consistent, tree cannot figure out what it should do. Should it try to grow to sustain itself or should the Dogwood grow then stop, set buds
and then continue on and grow after the buds have been set? With an almost constant and really not a variable temperature difference of day and night the Dogwood will want to grow and not stop and set buds. The plants actually are too happy with the evenness of the temperatures, so happy in fact they forget to set flower buds in the
process. I went through this for a number of years with a pink bordered white Kousa. Because of the weather, when the plant should have stopped to set flower buds it kept right on growing even without any fertilizer applications. There's not much you can do to change the weather, but usually it runs in cycles so your dogwoods will eventually bloom. The other causes of non blooming are lack of sufficient sunshine and a fungal disease called Dogwood Anthracnose. Symptoms include browing flower buds but also browning leaves. If the leaves are healthy you can rule out anthracnose as the cause of non blooming. I hope this information will help you determine just what the cause might be.

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