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Azaleas not flowering

gardenman91gardenman91 BrightonPosts: 429
Hello everyone

So my two Azaleas in the photo are not flowering for some reason? I have already topped up the container with ericacous (ignore the spelling!) compost and one did have a few flowers on to begin with. They seem healthy other than that. I had noticed some leaf gall but I have picked those off. Any ideas? Many thanks!
Josh

Posts

  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
    Did you have a very dry summer last year?  One of mine took a year off flowering last year after the drought in 2018, but came back gloriously this year.
  • gardenman91gardenman91 BrightonPosts: 429
    I’m not sure about last year though it’s been a very dry spring this year. Could they be pot bound? But If they were wouldn’t they stop growing leaves too? 
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 538
    Hi mine seemed to have a year off last year with not one flower but the previous summer both of my plants had the best display of flowers I have ever had on them.  

    One of my plants have has started budding up over the past couple of weeks but the other has not so keeping an eye on it.

    I do know that if they dont get enough water the previous summer they dont do much the following year. We did have a very hot spell last summer.

    It might also be worth looking at repotting them too
  • gardenman91gardenman91 BrightonPosts: 429
    Hi PurpleRose

    Unfortunately I’m unable to repot them due to not having a large enough pot. Would it be easier to take cuttings? If so when is the best time to do it and what sort of cutting is best? Many thanks!
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    Mine is only jus beginning to open buds, they are small this year, probably to do with not enough water last year here too
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,190
    Are they just growing in that wee shallow trough?
    I'm afraid they'll be very pot bound and dehydrated. They aren't deep rooted shrubs, but even so, it's asking a huge amount of them to thrive in such a small amount of soil.
    They also need enough water during the previous summer to produce their flower buds for the following year. It's been a very common problem this year, and last year for lots of people.
    If they're only in compost, you need to address that too. Needs to be a soil based medium. Compost is no use for long term planting.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • gardenman91gardenman91 BrightonPosts: 429
    Hi Fairygirl, I didn’t know that about compost and long term, at least not at the time of planting haha. I prefer using John innes 1-3 for pots as they’ve got most substance to them but didn’t have an alternative for the azaleas. When would be the best time to potentially move them? I also don’t think I’ve got anywhere in the garden that would suitable for them to go hence why they’re in the trough. Would it be better to try cuttings? If so how do I do it? Many thanks!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,190
    I'd start by moving one into it's own pot or container. They're unlikely to do much if both are in that space.  :)
    I'd use the JI for the trough too, unless it's an alkaline. That's what they don't tolerate. You would just mix your ericaceous compost in with it.  I never use these things so I don't know. We have suitable conditions for azaleas and rhodies here - they grow like weeds!  :)
    Is there any way you could make the trough deeper? If it's wooden, you could add an extra tier. You'd obviously need to take the plants out first, but it would just give  more depth, and volume of soil.
    As far as moving is concerned, I do it anytime, but I know some people  are wary of that. If you wait now until autumn, keeping them really well watered through summer, you could do it then. That's when the new buds form anyway, so water is key at that time :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • gardenman91gardenman91 BrightonPosts: 429
    Fairygirl thank you again for the advice. Yes our soil down here is chalky so very alkaline haha. Oh I didn’t realise the buds formed in the previous year before the flowering spring? The only pots I have are deeper pots but not very wide? I have a space between two Skimmias I might be able to use but that might be too much shade for the azalea. I’m a bit stumped what to do! 🤣 
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