Why Aren’t Your Fall-Flowering Shrubs Blooming?

So, you’ve been waiting patiently for your fall-flowering shrubs to bloom. But it’s getting late in the season, and they still aren’t blooming. What gives?

Don’t lose heart if your shrubs are lacking flowers. The failure to bloom can occur for a number of reasons, many of which are fixable with a little help from your local garden center. If your fall-flowering shrubs aren’t blooming, the issue is probably related to one of the following.

fall flowering shrubs

Age of the Shrubs

How old are your shrubs? If they were recently planted, they may need more time to bloom – some fall-flowering varieties take a few years to start producing flowers. Here, patience is the only solution.

Conversely, if you planted the shrubs long ago, advancing age could be the culprit. Many varieties stop blooming as their branches age, but some can gain a second life through pruning – ask your local garden center staff for tips.

Poor Planting Spot

Flowering shrubs bloom abundantly when they’re planted in spots that satisfy their growth needs.

With too much light, shrubs may lack the necessary energy for flower production. With too much shade, the buds may not even form. If your planting sites don’t offer the amount of sun your shrubs require – which varies among different varieties – this might be the reason for their failure to bloom.

Shrub Stress

Is there a chance your flowering shrubs could be stressed? Plant stress can affect blooming in fall-flowering varieties.

Several situations can create plant stress, including poor-quality soil, pest or disease infestation, temperature extremes, assaults from deer and environmental issues. Shrub stress and the resulting failure to bloom can also occur as a result of transplant shock. For help diagnosing and treating stressed plants, head to your local garden center.

Improper Pruning

When it comes to pruning shrubs, most fall-flowering varieties need to be cut back in the early spring before the flower buds put out new growth.

If you pruned too late in the spring, you might have accidentally cut off the buds – which would explain why you aren’t seeing flowers. In that case, you’ll have to wait until next fall to enjoy your flowering shrubs.

Fertilizer Choice

Some gardeners think that when fall-flowering shrubs aren’t blooming, they must need fertilizer – and that could be true.

However, many fertilizers are heavy in nitrogen, which encourages leaf production – not flower development. When you want blooms instead of only leafy growth, you need to apply a fertilizer that’s heavier in phosphorus. If you chose the wrong type for your last application, you may not see blooming until next fall.

Think you’ve zeroed in on the reason your fall-flowering shrubs aren’t blooming? The friendly and knowledgeable experts at Millcreek Gardens can offer solutions, such as rejuvenation pruning or fertilizer application, to bring beautiful blooms to your northern Utah landscape.

And, if you’re not sure why your shrubs have failed to flower, the Millcreek Gardens team can help you pinpoint a reason and find an effective way to solve the problem. For expert advice on blooming problems in fall-flowering shrubs, stop by our Salt Lake City garden center today.