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Viburnum flower buds not opening


I have a viburnum bodnantense dawn that has flower buds all along its branches but they don't seem to want to open. Only 2-3 have dared to open but even they seem a little tentative! This is only the 2nd year I've had this plant. It's in a pot & sits on a north facing balcony & only gets sun in the morning. I haven't noticed any bugs or pests.

Am I just being impatient (the buds have formed for at least a month now) & they will open eventually or is there something I should be doing to help them along a bit? Eg does it need feeding?

Be grateful for any tips. Thanks



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,277

    You're not alone. I just had a look at mine and it's much the same here in Essex.
    I've had it for years. Sometimes flowers appear in Oct/Nov sometimes it's not until December.
    I guess it knows when it's ready :)

    BTW - I've never fed mine, just an occasional mulch and I hack it back to about 7ft each year.
    I'm not sure as to its suitability for a pot long term though - it'll be gagging to escape into the ground

    Last edited: 07 December 2016 14:53:53

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Patience, my friend, patience.

  • It'll open eventually - mine flowers throughout the winter during milder spells.

    However, I am a bit worried about yours being in a pot - they grow into large shrubs and it'll need a large container to match, and John Innes No 3 loam-based compost, not multi-purpose.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks all. Sounds like I'm just over-worrying & being impatient! Thought also I ought to be pinching off some of the buds as the branches are covered in them & it hasn't the energy to open them all. Oh good, so with any luck I'll be in for a treat with that gorgeous scent & lovely pink flowers soon then..:-)

    As for being in a pot, can't be helped, have no garden & I simply love this plant for its flowers so had to have one. Now it's shed its leaves it looks structurally quite good in a pot with its branches in a sort of tulip shape so am quite pleased with it though yes, I agree ideally it should be in the ground. Thanks Dove for the tip about the type of compost, will bear that in mind when I repot. 


  • Don't remove any buds - they'll come out in phases, a few at a time through the winter.

    Enjoy - it's one of my absolute favourites image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Mine has no open flowers, yet. My neighbour's is COVERED in flowers. His is in a little sun trap and mine isn't. They please themselves, don't worry.

  • Aym, how old is your viburnum - if it's young it might  need a bit of potash-based fertiliser to give it a nudge into action.  Or if it's well established perhaps taking out some of the older stems and rejuvenating it as Doghouse has done might encourage it.  But don't prune until late spring.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428

    My viburnum Dawn is now in its third year - and flowering beautifully for the first time. Might treat myself to another! 

  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428


    Every day seems to be murky and foggy at the moment - but hope you can smell the fragrance!

  • Hello all, just a quick update to say my viburnum in a pot - all 3 feet high of it - is now looking & smelling lovely with several buds fully open and many more about to, so a beautiful new year to look forward to. image

    Happy new year all!

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