Deciduous Azalea: which one is a flower bud

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by PatriciainVancouver, Aug 28, 2023.

  1. PatriciainVancouver

    PatriciainVancouver Member

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    Two photos of buds from my deciduous azalea. I know the single bud will flower next Spring but will the multi headed bud bloom? Or is it just a sucker?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Flower bud on the left, growth buds on the right.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    So those three round things are not the same? (flowers?)
    Now wonder that always confuses me too.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Rhododendron flower buds are widest at the middle. Any shoot that does not produce stem buds before winter is unable to grow away again the following year. This is why deciduous azalea cuttings have to be taken early in the growing season. So as to be sure there is time for them to root, flush a shoot and set bud on that shoot before fall.
     
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  5. PatriciainVancouver

    PatriciainVancouver Member

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    No, two different photos of two different bud formations on the same plant. The plant is getting a bit big for the location and I want to remove some leggy shoots but avoid removing next spring’s blooms.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If it's an Exbury-Knaphill hybrid most of those grow multiple feet tall in time. Rhododendrons bloom best on the most vigorous and outermost shoots in each section of the bush. Buds are set the previous summer, any shoots cut back at any time during a given year will not bloom the following year. In addition, there is a tendency for shoots that have flowered to be followed by smaller shoots coming from below the flower cluster. Shoots that are not big enough to bloom the following year.
     
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  7. PatriciainVancouver

    PatriciainVancouver Member

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    Thanks for this information. Unfortunately don’t know what type of azalea it is. As the photos show some of the buds looked different and I wondered if both types would bloom in the spring.
     

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