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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Hibiscus Tree Bud Problem
Location: British Columbia, Island
Posted: Mar-29-2005 at 12:16pm
My stepmother and father have a 3 year old Hibiscus tree that flowered the first year that they got it but, has not flowerd since. (It may be 2 years old). The tree is in a small, circular raised bed with pansies and other flowers. Last year, the flower buds came up but, eventually just fell off.
They have used salt based fertilizer (15-30-15) on it since it was planted and have not added any organic matter to the soil since planting. Any tips or ideas as to why the tree does not flower would be appreciated.
Also, last year the flower buds came up but, eventually jsut fell off.
Location: Washington, Western Cascade Foothills
Posted: Mar-30-2005 at 5:54pm
Sorry you have that problem. First of all, do you know what kind it is? It is probably the cold hardy Rose of Sharon. They need totally full sun. Mine doesn't start blooming till late summer and as soon as it first gets cold the buds drop. The problem is that they like more heat than we usaully get. Still they are worth growing. They also like some lime in their soil. They like fertilzing but if you are having problems getting them to bloom use a fertilzer lower in nitrogen, like a 5-10-10 in spring and a 0-10-10 in summer. Cut back a little on the watering ,too. Hope it works.
Location: Washington, Western
Posted: Mar-31-2005 at 9:17pm
In Mi the Rose of Sharon flourishes! Once they get established they thrive with neglect. I mean no one waters or fertilizes theirs, they are big and flower massivly. Oh but they are not always in full sun, but is hot there. The other type of hibicus that is hardy but dies to the ground, they do well there too. Sorry I keep bringing up Mi, I just spent such a long time there and I am still amazed over the diff between here and there.
As to this ones problem, I would get the soil tested. When something really does not do well I first off think of the site. OR just move the thing. When I have a plant that jsut does not do well I move it and normally it is fine. But don't you find that sometimes a plant just does not do well and I think it is just a bad one in the first place.
Does that make sense. When I worked at Home Depot I would tell people that appeared to have some brains when it came to plants........IF you have done everything right and the plant just fails, then it could have been the plant.
Maybe when it was baby in the pot it did not get enough water or it was over fertilized or it got cold damaged or some such thing.
Or it was just wrong in the first place!
Location: Oregon, Greater Portland Metro
Posted: Apr-01-2005 at 5:08pm
can you give more details about its planting conditions? is it in sun or shade? how's the drainage? what else is growing around it and how are those plants doing? do the leaves look healthy? does it get summer water? any critters chewing on it around the base or in the soil? is mulch piled around the base of it, like a volcano? any other site condition details that might point out what is going on would help.
in the meantime, here are a few thoughts . . .
producing flowers takes a lot of energy. it's possible that the plant is conserving resources by short-circuiting the blooms. the middle number stands for potassium, which is a bloom booster, but there must be something else going on since it doesn't seem to be working.
i echo bakingbarb's recommendation to test the soil. if the ph is off, the fertilizers may be bound up in the soil, unavailable to the plant. you can do a home ph test with a store bought kit. you can best results with dry soil [let the sample dry before testing] and distilled water.
the other thing to look at is the root system. if the plant was rootbound at planting, and the roots were left that way, the roots could continue to grow in a circular pattern as if the plant were still in a container, limiting its ability to take up nutrients.
i'll check my books, too.