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why does my rhododendron not flower?

sussex, United Kingdom Gb

have had it for three years and the first year it flowered beutifuly, but since the leaves have gone a pale green and are not glossy at all. it is in a shaded area that gets the evning sun, the soil was clayish but i have doug in lots of compost.



Hi Brightonang
Quite possibly your Rhodo is suffering from soil that isn't acid enough. Rhodos prefer acid soil and usually clay can be quite alkaline.
There are a couple of things you can try. You could dig out the Rhodo and then enlarge the hole in which it was planted. Then fill the large hole with acid type soil from the garden centre and replant your Rhodo.
You can try and amend the soil from the hole which you dig by using plenty of compost made from leaf mould, pine needles, and peat moss.
An application of rock sulphur will lower the soil pH. Also garden centres should sell a water based fertilizer which increases the acidity of the soil.
If you replant the Rhodo after amending or replacing the soil, make sure you keep it mulched with leaf mould or pine needles constantly.
Your best bet is to dig the Rhodo and plant it in a large pot filled with acidic soil from the garden centre. It is easier to keep the soil correct in a pot than it is in the ground where the surrounding soil will just keep changing the pH back to what it was.

15 Mar, 2009

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