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Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

Posted by ellenr z6 NJ (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 9:02

It has never bloomed. The first year it had a disease. The second year I moved it. I figured that was why it didn't bloom. But in the 3 or 4 years since then I have never got a bloom.
Every year it gets buds, but no bloom. I have noticed ants on the buds, I don't know if that is a problem.

It is in full sun, in good soil. Everything else in the garden thrives.

Any ideas?
I don't know the variety - seems there was blueberry in the name?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

Perhaps it is Viburnum dentatum 'blue muffin'?

When you say it gets "buds", you actually see flower buds, or are those leaf buds? And if you see flower buds, what happens to them, do they just drop off without opening?

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

hmm...I think they're flower buds, cuz I have leaves, open leaves. Each little twig has a bud,
and then one day there are no buds!

every one seems to disappear at the same time.

no blue muffin doesn't ring a bell - i've been looking around the net trying to identify the species.


RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

Some buds just turn into leaves, some turn into flowers. You need to figure out if they ever produced a flower bud but then lost it or they didn't produce buds at all (in which case it may be too young?).

Here are pictures of my viburnum acerifolium as of this morning. This stem is producing a flower while the second one is just producing leaves:

Viburnum flower bud

Viburnum leaf bud

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

I'm not sure. When you say 'too young' is it possible for a Viburnum to take more than 4 years to flower?

thanks so much for your input.


RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

I don't know the concrete definition of too young for viburnums. In 2004 I got ten Viburnum cassinoides from the New Hampshire nursery and they were small (12 inches?). But the one with the most sun exposure did bloom in 2007. Now it looks like a couple of the others will bloom in 2008 (can't be sure until it happens). But the ones with the least amount of sun are noticeably smaller and probably still won't bloom this year.

I assume that your plant has not leafed out yet? If that is true, pay close attention to the tips as they unfold this year.

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

It is possible that some pesky creature - squirrel, bird, etc. - is eating the buds just before they open. Your statement that the buds seem to disappear just before opening leads me to think this. I was walking through a local woods yesterday, and found many small, barely opened buds, both flower and leaf, under a tulip poplar tree. I assume a squirrel cut and dropped them - some of the flower buds were partly eaten.

I know that some birds, especially sparrows, can eat flower buds from some trees/shrubs, so it may be that your viburnumm is especially tasty just at opening time. If a flock of whatever found your viburnum, they could clean it off in short order.

And that doesn't help you get flowers, I know. Sorry not to be able to help more.

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

Deer seem to prefer buds on V. dentatum cultivars(of which 'Blue Muffin' is one) to those on almost every other type of viburnum.

RE: Why doesn't my viburnum flower?

It may be the amount of sun.
Does this plant receive full sun, - any shade?
Also because it is young and it was moved may also impact the flowering.
At some point it would be good to know the type, so that you can have a second one so that you can also have fruit.

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