Floweribg plants not flowering despite fertilization.

My husband put weed n feed on the lawn and was not careful. Did this cause the lack of flowering and is there anything I can do?

  4 answers
  • Carole Triplett Brooks Carole Triplett Brooks on Jun 22, 2017
    Perhaps so. What plants do you have that are now flowering. That will help with the correct answer. Thank you.

  • Are the plants healthy otherwise? Some plants will not bloom if over fertilized. How long ago did this happen? Maybe give it a couple weeks? A light sprinkle of weed and feed should hopefully not be enough to damage the plants too badly and should recover.

  • Carole Triplett Brooks Carole Triplett Brooks on Jun 22, 2017
    There are many reasons for a lack of flowers, some we can control and others we just have to accept. Here are the top 5 usual suspects, when it comes to why your plant won't bloom.

    Needs Fertilizer
    This is the first response of many gardeners. If something isn't flowering, it must need fertilizer, right? Well, maybe. It's true that feeding your plants with a high nitrogen fertilizer will promote lots of green, leafy growth, at the expense of flowers. It's also true that plants need phosphorous to set flower buds. But you need to look at the whole picture.

    If your plants look otherwise healthy, check the next 4 items on this list first. If they show signs of malaise or stress,check all the growing conditions. Is the plant getting plenty of sun (see below) and water? Are there any signs of disease or pests? How do the other plants nearby look? Have you had your soil tested recently? If your soil pH isn't in a good range, it won't matter how much fertilizer you add. Your plants won't be able to access it. All these factors work in combination.

    Pruning at the Wrong Time
    When you prune used to be the major culprit in a lack of flowers for shrubs and trees. Pruning plants late in the season can remove all the buds for next year's flowers. Lilacs, forsythia, and some hydrangeas can set their buds a year in advance This is becoming less of an issue as new plants are developed that can bloom on new growth. In particular, new hydrangeas that bloom all season, even if you cut them while they're growing, are being introduced every year. But if you have older shrubs and trees that you want to keep, you'll need to know when it's time to hold off on pruning.

    Too Young
    Most plants are not ready to bloom until they put down roots and had a season or more to mature. Remember, plants don't flower out of vanity. Flowering is how they propagate their species and it takes a lot of energy. Some, like biennials, die shortly after flowering. That's why deadheadingbefore a plant has a chance to set seed can force it to bloom again.
    It helps to know something about the type of flower you are growing. Annualsshould flower their first year, but it can still take several months for them to mature. You may not see flowers until mid- to late summer. Biennials, like hollyhocks, do not usually bloom at all their first year and then fade away shortly after flowering in their second season. Perennials are being bred to flower more quickly these days. If you are buying large plants, they should be plenty old enough to start blooming the first year you plant them. Even flowering trees and shrubs are being designed with the impatient gardener in mind. But there are plenty of old-fashioned varieties out there that still need to settle in before they hit their stride. Once they do, they should become reliable bloomers.

    Got Sun? Many flowers require at least 6 hours of sun to set buds. Plants need the sun to photosynthesize. This is how they take the raw materials of carbon dioxide and water and turn them into the sugars they need to feed themselves. If they don't get enough sun, they become stressed. One of the first things a stressed plant does is drop its flowers and buds and put all its resources into staying alive. Growth, in general, will become sparse. The plant will grow tall and gangly and start reaching in the direction of the sun.
    Temperature also plays a role in flowering. The warmth of the sun is often what is needed for a flower to open. So the time of day the sun shines on your flower garden also plays a role. Morning light is cooler. Plants with an eastern exposure may only be getting morning sun. Flowers that require "full sun" will bloom more in a western exposure, where they get the hotter afternoon light. Of course, there are plants that will wilt or fry in hot afternoon sun, so you really need to research what your plant likes.

    Winter Damage
    Weather is the big question mark in every gardening endeavor and lately, it seems that winters have become more frustrating than ever. Snow is not usually the problem since it acts as a great insulator and protection of pants. But cold winters, with no snow cover and harsh, frigid winds, can easily damage or kill flower buds. Dry winters can cause plants to forego flowering, as they go into preservation mode. Wet springs can bring on early fungus diseases and rots.
    Warm winters can mean that flowers needing a period of cold to set their flowers buds or to break dormancy, like spring bulbs and peonies, won't get what they need. It can also cause some plants to come out of dormancy early, only to be killed back by a late spring frost or snowstorm.

    Too cold, not cold enough, too wet, too dry? There's really not much we can do about this other than looking for varieties that are well suited to our area. Even then, there will be seasons when we will just have to roll with the punches.

  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jun 23, 2017
    It could be that they were overfertilized.