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What Keeps Red Hot Poker From Blooming?

Ask the Expert: Red Hot Pokers not blooming
My Red Hot Pokers have always bloomed by the end of June, but this year they don’t seemed to want to bloom. The foliage looks healthy and is growing very nicely. I live in Colorado and we’ve had more rain this year than in the past. Any ideas?
Thanks Cassie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

A water issue can cause Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia) to under perform. Lack of water when the bloom is forming is usually the culprit. However, it sounds as if you are getting enough water.

Temperature could be another factor. If your area is below normal temps or the temperatures got too high too soon, the blooming schedule would be thrown out of whack.

Lack of light can also cause insufficient or lack of blooms in Red Hot Poker. If your area has become shadier than it has been in the past, you will need to move your plants.

I’m not sure if Red Hot Poker behaves like iris, but it might. When Iris become buried too deep it will produce lovely foliage, but no blooms. So, you might check the kniphofia and see if the much and leaves have gotten to thick on top of the plant. If it has you need to lift the plant. The crown should never be planted deeper than 3 inches.

This plant blog question was brought to you by the local florists in Santa Clara.

Will Dividing A Peace Lily Kill Flowering?

Ask the Expert: Peace lily won’t flower
I had a peace lily that was healthy, and flowered lots.  One day (about a year ago) I decided it was pot bound, and as it divided easily, split it into several ‘new’ plants and repotted each of these.  All have done well, continues to grow and look healthy – dark green glossy leaves, but none of them have flowered.  all the plants have different conditions (given away to family and friends) and I’ve tried moving mine between rooms to try different light levels.

What do I need to do to get the plant to flower?  or did dividing it ‘kill’ the flowers? Sarah

Plant Expert Reply:

Dividing the peace lily did not kill the ability of the plant to flower.  The natural cycle of a peace lily is a 3 to 4 month blooming period per year.  Hybrid varieties may have different blooming cycles that occur more often or they have been chemically manipulated (with a hormone called Gibberellic acid – GA 3 ) to bloom.

Light and humidity are the natural factors that inhibit or stimulate  the blooming of a peace lily. In your case, another factor maybe a contributing factor – maturity.  One of the reasons peace lilies have been hybridized is that the original Spathiphyllum needed maturity and size before it would bloom. This often meant more than a year’s growth before the plant would bloom. You plant may simply lack maturity. You didn’t say how long it has been since you divided the peace lily.  If it has only been a few months give it a little more time.  When the plant has “matured”, it should bloom.

In the mean time, I would make sure the plant is receiving the right amount of humidity and light. You can find more Peace Lily Care information on the Peace Lily page on FSN. If you want to learn more about peace lily blooming, read Making Peace Lilies Bloom.

Good Luck and keep me posted.

2 Reasons Lacecap Hydrangeas Won’t Bloom

Ask the Expert: Have a lace-cap hydrangea but no blooms. Help? My lace-cap hydrangea looks healthy with lots of deep green leaves but no flowers. Should I be fertilizing it? Elizabeth

Plant expert Reply:
There are 2 major reasons Lacecap Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) cold damage or improper pruning. Since they form their buds August through September, the Lacecap hydrangea bloom buds are susceptible to frost damage. There is very little  you can do about this type of blooming problem except to use a variety that is a little more hardy.  However if pruning is the cause for lack of blooms, you have all the control over this problem.  Lacecap hydrangeas should be deheaded immediately after blooming and very little true pruning needs to take place.  If you must prune your hydrangea, follow the fantastic pruning instructions I found at Hydrangeas! Hydrangeas.

2 minor reasons hydranges don’t bloom: Not enough sunlight and insufficient nutrients.  Hydrangeas love morning sun and afternoon shade.  Also they will grow in shaier conditions, it does inhibit blooming.  make sure your hydrangeas get half a day of sun.  Fertlize your hydrangeas will a balanced slow-release fertilizer once or twice a summer.  May and july are good months to fertilize your hydrangeas.  Don not fertlize after August.

Hopefully the reason your hydrangea isn’t blooming will become clear and you will be able to correct the problem.