En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-blooming rhododendron in Connecticut

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 02, 2008

From: New Britain, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting, Shrubs
Title: Non-blooming rhododendron in Connecticut
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

A two or three yr old rhododendron has not blossomed - ever! All other plants in landscape doing well, but not this one. Help

ANSWER:

Rhododendron is a large Genus with over 1000 species, including plants known to gardeners as azaleas. Rhododendrons are very widely distributed occurring through most of the Northern Hemisphere except for dry areas, extending into the Southern Hemisphere through Indo-China, Korea and Japan. Tropical rhododendrons occur from southeast Asia to northern Australia, as well as Borneo and New Guinea. This plant has been extensively hybridized, and tracing its parentage could be very difficult. However, most rhododendrons and azaleas are at their best in fairly mild, humid climates. See this University of Missouri Extension Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons for more information.

Rhododendrons are grown commercially in many areas for sale, and are occasionally collected in the wild, a practice now rare in most areas. Larger commercial growers often ship long distances; in North America, most of them are located on the west coast, Oregon, Washington and California. Large-scale commercial growers often select for different characteristics than home gardeners might want, such as resistance to root rot when over-watered, ability to be forced into budding early, ease of rooting or other propagation, and saleability. So, you're gardening in Connecticut and getting plants from your nursery that may be non-native in origin and grown on the West Coast in mild, humid areas. We don't think that means your plant is never going to bloom, we just think it might not be mature enough, yet. You do need to check that your plant is in an acid soil, well-drained and high in organic matter. Generally, these are considered understory, part shade plants, but they do need a certain amount of sun to bloom well, so if it's too dark where your rhododendron is, that might be the problem. If you decide that your plant is simply in the wrong place, they have fibrous, shallow roots and transplant well, but it would be better to wait until early Fall when the plant will be more dormant.

 

More Planting Questions

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Damage from Hurricane Irene in Burgaw, NC
August 27, 2011 - We live in Burgaw, NC and have begun the clean up efforts of Hurricane Irene which has made a full grown crape myrtle lean to one side. Its a very large tree and it is not uprooted. Is there anyway ...
view the full question and answer

How close can I plant Mountain Laurels to my house in Austin, TX?
December 08, 2010 - Hello, I'm interested in planting 2 or 3 Texas Mountain Laurels on the side of my house and I'm wondering just how close is safe. I've been told that planting trees too close can damage the slab f...
view the full question and answer

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
view the full question and answer

Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
May 12, 2007 - We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center