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Flowering Plants Not Flowering

Q: I recently removed all the grass from my front yard and landscaped with flowers, shrubs and trees. Two of the things I planted are a tree size Bougainvillea and a Bleeding Heart. The bleeding heart has been in the ground for a month, and has easily tripled in size, but no flowers yet. The bougie has no flowers either, but has only been in the ground for 2 weeks. Should I just be patient for flowers at this stage, or should I be fertilizing regularly? I live in Tampa, so it's hot and humid, but there's also been lots of rain lately.
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Thanks for any help.
Lisa

A: Lisa,

It may be too early for your Bougainvillea, and too late for your Bleeding Heart. Depending on the varieties you have, Bougainvilleas flower most heavily in winter or early spring. Too much rain can inhibit blooms, as they prefer sparse to light watering conditions. Studies (conducted in Florida) suggest they flower best when given a high nitrogen fertilizer and short day lengths (15 hours darkness in every 24). A low nitrogen fertilizer applied once in the spring and once in the fall should work fine.

Bleeding Hearts generally bloom in the early to late spring (May-June). Some varieties continue to grow and bloom for most of the season, while others start to die back around August or September. Your plant is still establishing itself so be patient. One application of fertilizer in the spring should be fine. Bleeding Hearts prefer partial shade and moist (but not wet) hummus-rich soil. Although they are adapted to growing in Florida's climate, they do not tolerate salt. Your plants will likely take a while to become established in your newly landscaped yard. This time next year will be a much better indicator of their success.

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

You might not have blooms on the bleeding heart because it is thee wrong season - plants also don't like to bloom right after they are transplanted because they are putting energy into developing new roots. Here is a good link on bleeding hearts: http://www.mrgr … om/plant/may.htm

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

Bleeding hearts bloom first thing in the spring. Wait until next year to see it bloom.

When you plant a new plant generally you should not let the plant bloom or bear fruit the first season. You want the plant to put all its energy into making a good root system for itself. If your bourg... does bloom, cut the flowers off, let the roots grow and make it wait until next year to bloom. It is worth the wait.

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