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Rhododendron Flower Buds Fail to Open

My rhododendron (approx 12 yr old) has a profusion of flower buds but for the past two years no more than a couple have opened.  The remainder have become brown with new growth shoots emanating from around the buds.  Suggestions please


  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,594
    edited June 2018
    Welcome to the forums robertmcilvride.

    Possibly too dry? Roots are very shallow they don't like to dry out.
    Cold drying wind?
    A late frost ..followed by early morning sun shine  ?

    Rhododendrons like it sheltered and are happy in semi shade.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,649
    These plants form their flower buds in late summer.  If they go dry then, or thru autumn and winter, the flower buds are sacrificed.   Make sure you keep yours well watered and think about mulching to preserve moisture once it is thoroughly soaked.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,996
    Don't want to alarm you unnecessarily, but your rhodo may be a victim of "bud blast" caused by the Rhododendron leafhopper insect. This has happened to me this year, on approx. half of its buds. See for detail, and photo of my own specimen below.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
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