No bloom on Indian Hawthorne

I live in Louisiana (Zone 8) and my dwarf Indian Hawthorne are 10 years old (they are around 3 sides of my house) and have always bloomed profusely. This year (2008); however, they had very few blooms. My husband always cuts them back right after blooming about 1/3. I fertilize during the growing season with Osmocote about 2 or 3 times. Can you tell me what the problem might be with my non-blooming Indian Hawthorne?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

It sounds like you and your husband are right on target with your pruning and fertilizing routines. There are a couple of possible causes for this year's disappointing bloom. First, what has your weather been like? A particularly dry fall might cause a decline in the spring bloom. But the drought would've had to be pretty severe. Another possibility is that your soil might have excess nitrogen built up. Turf fertilizers, for example, are high in nitrogen because they promote green growth. For your Indian Hawthornes (Raphiolepis umbellata) that could mean green growth at the expense of blooms. A soil test might help you identify this problem. I'm not sure what formulations Osmocote comes in, but if they've got a bloom-booter formula with high phosphorous, use that. That would be a high middle number on the package; something like 5-10-5, 10-30-10 or even 10-60-10.


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