Kousa dogwood has never flowered - Why?


Old 06-18-05, 09:33 AM
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Kousa dogwood has never flowered - Why?

Our kousa dogwood has never flowered. I don't remember exactly when we planted it, but I think it was about 5 years ago. It looks extremely healthy;
very nice folliage, nice shape, grows every year, so I wouldn't think that
watering would be the issue. What would make it not flower? Does it take a certain number of years? Do we need to fertilize it? Any insights would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-05, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
It is not uncommon for Kousa's to take their time blooming. For instance, a gardener planted a 12-year-old Kousa. It produced two or three blooms for eight years and then started blooming like crazy.

You can fertilize with Camellia-Rhododendron food, acid based fertilizer to stimulate blooming. In colder climates, you can use a 0-10-10 fertilizer in early to mid-Summer to help induce flower bud formation. Because Kousa's are grown some place else, it takes them time to adjust to your growing conditions. Kousa's seem to particularly aware of weather and climatic conditions and failure to bloom is most often due to environmental factors.

Kousas prefer moist, fertile, loamy, well-drained soil but they tend to be more adaptable to soil conditions than other flower dogwoods. Kousas do not tolerate drought and need deep watering during hot, dry spells. In the South, kousas need afternoon sun but can grow in full sun. Kousas have large root systems, so they need lots of room for expansion. There should be mulch beneath canopy to conserve moisture and to keep mowers and weedeaters away from bark.

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