Failure to flower

By The Old House Web

Failure to flower

List of files and visuals associated with this text.


Plants fail to flower for various reasons. One of the more common reasons is plant immaturity. Trees, in particular, must reach a certain age before they begin to flower.

If the plant is old enough, the growing conditions may be too poor to allow flowering. Plants that require full sun, for instance, may grow but fail to flower in the shade.

Cold winter temperatures may kill the flower buds. This often happens to forsythia, flowering dogwood and peach. Nothing can be done to prevent this type of injury. Plants that are not fully hardy in Michigan will be most susceptible to cold injury.

Improper pruning may cause failure to flower. Some plants bloom only on last year's wood. Cutting the plants back severely removes all the flowering wood. This happens most often on climbing roses. Florist's hydrangeas carry flower buds at the branch tips through the winter. These are often pruned off in the spring.

Overfertilizing with nitrogen can sometimes cause plants to grow only leaves and stems. Such plants will be quite large but without flowers.

Visuals associated with this text.

Visual title - Visual size Visual title - Visual size
Forsythia flower bud cold injury - 41K
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