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As a comment about Mock Orange (Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'), Paintedtrillium wrote:

I've had this shrub for 20 - 25 years. I have never seen a bloom!
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 6, 2020 1:33 PM CST
Do you have any idea as to why it hasn't?
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Southern Maine (Zone 6a)
Echinacea Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hybridizer Ferns Irises
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Northeast US Peonies Hostas Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Paintedtrillium
Jun 7, 2020 9:36 AM CST
KFredenburg said:Do you have any idea as to why it hasn't?


Hi!
I actually do not. The foliage is healthy. It has good sunlight.
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 7, 2020 11:04 AM CST
Hmm, that's strange. I'll check the database for you and see what I can find.
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 7, 2020 6:28 PM CST
Where is your Mock Orange planted?
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 7, 2020 6:28 PM CST
In terms of how much sun it gets, I mean.
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Southern Maine (Zone 6a)
Echinacea Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hybridizer Ferns Irises
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Northeast US Peonies Hostas Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Paintedtrillium
Jun 8, 2020 12:10 AM CST
Hi
Thank you!
On one direction it faces east and on the other direction it faces southeast.

This website suggests using a fertilizer with added phosphorus. I haven't tried that but I have some and perhaps that is the missing secret ingredient of success. 🙂
https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 8, 2020 8:36 AM CST
How much sun does it get on average per day? Full sun? Full sun to partial shade?

The database recommends full sun to partial shade.
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
[Last edited by KFredenburg - Jun 8, 2020 8:45 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2267026 (7)
Southern Maine (Zone 6a)
Echinacea Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hybridizer Ferns Irises
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Northeast US Peonies Hostas Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Paintedtrillium
Jun 9, 2020 6:35 PM CST
Definitely, it is planted in full sun.
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 9, 2020 7:57 PM CST
Then I don't know what the problem is.
Then again, I'm no expert, so not that I would know.

I hope you find out why!
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Southern Maine (Zone 6a)
Echinacea Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hybridizer Ferns Irises
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Northeast US Peonies Hostas Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Paintedtrillium
Jun 13, 2020 10:03 PM CST
Thank you. Your interest has had me pondering this more deeply instead of just accepting the situation. I live in a sandy coastal town and it's difficult for the soil to retain nutrients. Some of my small property was farmed but this shrub is in an area which is primarily sandy soil. Beach plum, little leaf lilac, and sand cherry all bloom and do well. This survives faithfully but does not bloom, so it isn't thriving. I've noticed a sucker so I will transplant it to a previous farmland area where the soil is loamy.
Thank you!!
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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KFredenburg
Jun 13, 2020 10:40 PM CST
Crossing Fingers! I hope it works out!
Love is patient and love is kind. Always be loving and kind to one another.
(Abridged from 1Cor. 13:4)
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
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JBarstool
Jun 14, 2020 2:50 AM CST
I grow Philadelphus here, though not Belle Etoile. I find it reliable though it would prefer a bit more summer moisture.

Do you prune the shrub - if so how and when (generally blooms on previous years wood)? And, at 25 years, what is its approximate size (if it is mature age yet still not fully sized might indicate conditions less than optimal)?

Do you have access to leaves in the Autumn? As you are clearly a v e r y patient gardener (waiting 20+ years for a bloom) a thick mulch of shredded leaves/leaf mould will eventually help.

Going out on a limb here as you seem to be describing pretty lean, not very moisture retentive conditions and adding organic matter by mulching will slowly improve structure and moisture retention. Generally they like well drained (seems you have this one covered) but moist soil. I don't think of them as very hungry plants. Water the plant well and then apply a thick mulch, As it breaks down and is transported downward by worms top it up as needed.

Consider a summer hair cut this year - cutting 1/4 of its old growth to ground.

Too bad you can't smell mine, he said gloating... a new experience for me, trust me, there's very little to gloat about in my garden.

I find myself most amusing.
[Last edited by JBarstool - Jun 14, 2020 2:52 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2273487 (12)
Southern Maine (Zone 6a)
Echinacea Enjoys or suffers cold winters Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hybridizer Ferns Irises
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Northeast US Peonies Hostas Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Paintedtrillium
Jun 16, 2020 5:26 PM CST
I am glad that yours is doing well and I appreciate your recommendations. I do have access to leaves in the fall. I also have some bagged compost which I could apply now to get the process started. :)

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