What shrub blooms every other year?

julianna_il(z6 IL)April 1, 2013

Moving to a new house, and the seller was telling me what plants were around. There's a shrub or bush of some kind on the side of the house, and he said it only blooms every other year. Big purple and yellow blooms I think he said. When he used his hand to say big, it was about five inches across.

Any clues? LOL.

I don't know of any plants that only bloom every other year. I googled and all I can find are biennials that die after two years.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the only thing that comes to mind.. is improper pruning.. as in it gets too big every second year.. and thru improper timing.. he cuts the buds off ...

you might want to try this in the name that plant forum.. they ID stuff on less info ..

but a pic of the plant.. the leaves and the general habit.. should get you an ID in summer ...

sometimes even just the bare sticks..

need some pix


    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 9:22AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Julianna, is it evergreen? With large leaves that stay on the shrub over winter? Some of the rhododendrons, if the spent flowers are not deadheaded, will put their energy into seed set not flower bud set and bloom heavily every other year, with only a few blooms (although rarely none at all) the years in between. It's usually a trait that gradually diminishes the older the shrub becomes.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:58PM
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julianna_il(z6 IL)

I didn't spend enough time looking at plants outside on the sides of the house. I'm moving in just a few weeks, so as soon as I get moved, maybe it will have started to bud and I'll get some pictures.

The only thing I *noticed* on that side of the house looked like a Rose of Sharon to me. (Dead looking and dried over winter until it gets new growth in spring/summer) But I've never known a Rose of Sharon to have blooms that size (or colors).

So unless I missed something, it's not evergreen. He did mention he does nothing to it, so I wondered myself (after Googling) if it was something that blooms every other year because of neglect. If that's the case, I'll fix that. LOL.

What's interesting is that there are nice looking beds in front and back, with white rock. I personally wouldn't have chosen rock, but I'll work with it. However, he pointed out one plant that was coming up out front, and I said are there other things and he said no.

Maybe they got the rock beds down and never went beyond that. Having never worked with rock like that, I'll need to research on what to plant. I can't live with numerous beds of ROCK. I'll have those filled up by mid summer I'm sure.

It's kind of a blank canvas. But I need to wait for some trees to get their canopies so I know what sunlight I have.

I'm kind of excited at starting over, because I can put all my lessons learned over the years to good use. I hope.

Thanks everyone...I'll report back when I learn more!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 3:25PM
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julianna_il(z6 IL)

Just thought I'd report back. I'm almost certain this is a hydrangea that never got pruned. It's covered in dead blooms (like from last year) and new foliage growth.

So, it's definitely not a magic "blooms every other year" plant. It's a neglected plant.

It won't be neglected now! I've never actually grown hydrangeas, but I'll learn. And this guy is HUGE!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:32PM
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