Rhododendrons are a truly beautiful flower, and when you get a whole bank of the blooming together, the effect is truly spectacular. But how to make rhododendrons bloom?
What You'll Learn Today
How Do I Get More Flowers On My Rhododendron?
One sure fire way to get more flowers on your rhododendron is to deadhead them. This should prevent the flowers going to seed, and encourage more blooms the following year.
Simply snap off the stem holding the dead flower, and you should find that your bush rewards you with more vigorous growth.
Another option is to give it more sunlight. Rhododendrons will bloom in the shade, but the growth will not be as strong, or contain as many flowers.
You can prune back overhanging plants that are shading it; move the entire plant, or, if it is in a pot then simply move the pot to a sunnier position.
Try adding some fertilizer to the soil. These plants are not particularly hungry, but a boost of nutrients can encourage flowers.
Use a general purpose fertilizer in the early spring, around march time for outdoor plants, and add a little liquid fertilizer to pot rhododendrons.
Check on the acidity of your soil. Rhododendrons prefer an acidic soil, so if your planting medium is too alkaline you will not be rewarded with the best results.
Spreading pine needles, shredded oak leaves or wood chip around your rhododendron can help to increase the acidity of the soil.
Why Didn’t My Rhododendron Bloom This Year?
There are many factors that can cause “a year without flowers” for a rhododendron, and thankfully most of these are remediable:
- Pruning at the wrong time of year. Rhododendrons benefit from being pruned at around the early spring or late summer, and any trimming outside these times can stress the plant.
- Late frosts damaging the buds. Although mainly frost hardy, a late frost once the flower buds have already formed can kill them off completely.
- Alkaline soil. Rhododendrons like an acidic soil, so if their pH is wrong then this can cause major flowering problems.
- Too much nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen is responsible for making lush, green foliage – so if it’s flowers you’re after then cut back on the nitrates.
- Not enough sunlight. It is true that rhododendrons are happy in partial shade, but not enough sunlight will make them grow leggy, and will prevent flowers forming.
- Not dead heading the flowers. Removing the old, spent blooms is a great way to encourage your rhododendron to come back with a vengeance next year.
This article will outline a few reasons why your rhododendrons didn’t bloom, and what you can do about it.
When Do Rhododendrons Bloom?
Rhododendron put on a good show, there’s no doubt about that. They generally start blooming around the late spring, and continue throughout the summer.
As long as the conditions are right for the rhododendron, the flowers will start to emerge in the spring.
Many types of rhododendron will continue to bloom throughout the summer too, meaning that you can enjoy a riot of colour for several months!
However, some types of rhododendron can start to bloom as early as late winter, provided that the conditions are right and it is a mild or warm winter.
Have a look through the different types of rhododendron to see if you can find one that blooms earlier, if you like the idea of an early starter.
You can’t influence the blooming times of rhododendrons as you can, say, a hyacinth – but you can enjoy these beautiful plants when they show their flowers!
There are many ways to induce a rhododendron to bloom – even the most reluctant ones – so maybe this is an avenue that you should pursue if you are seeking more flowers.
How Often Do Rhododendrons Bloom?
- Like most flowering shrubs, rhododendron only blooms once during the year. However, this blooming can last a long time!
- This blooming time depends a lot upon which type of rhododendron you have planted, and the conditions that it is in.
- Even year after year, the well established rhododendron can bloom for a surprisingly long time, and this can make it seem as though the plant flowers and flowers again.
- If the conditions are not favorable, your rhododendron may skip a year of flowering – there are many solutions to this, thankfully!
- Conversely, with prolonged warm periods, you rhododendron may be tricked into thinking spring has arrived again, and may well give you a second crop of flowers.
- Given the right growing conditions, your rhododendron should give you a beautiful flower show without fail every year.
How Long Do Rhododendrons Bloom?
You can enjoy the beauty of your rhododendron bush for a surprisingly long time. In fact, this humble bush can actually keep on flowering for months on end!
A few months worth of flowers is a long time, especially when you consider that most have a very short flowering period.
Rhododendron is a jewel in your gardener’s crown, especially if you are growing for flower growth rather than foliage (although the foliage is attractive in its own right).
The flowers mainly appear in the spring, and they should go on throughout the spring and even into the summer.
Some types of rhododendron can continue to push out new flowers to replace the old ones for as long as seven months!
This little video will tell you just about everything you need to know about rhododendron flowers:
Rhododendron flowers are a joy to behold. An entire hedge worth of bold, beautiful blooms – what’s no to love?
Ok, they will die back – but they will return next year with a vengeance – with the right hints and tips, of course! Hopefully you now have these.