By: Teo Spengler
The tree called Davidia involucrata has papery white bracts that look like relaxed lilies and even a bit like doves. Its common name is dove tree and, when in bloom, it’s a truly beautiful addition to your garden. Read on for information about why there are no flowers on a dove tree and what you should do about it.
Why a Dove Tree Isn’t Flowering
A dove tree is a big, vital tree, up to 40 feet (12 m.) high with a similar spread. But it is the blossoms that make this tree so appealing. The true flowers grow in small clusters and have red anthers, but the real show involves the big white bracts.
Two bracts subtend each flower cluster, one about 3-4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm.) long, the other twice that long. The bracts are papery but soft, and they flutter in the breeze like the wings of a bird or white handkerchiefs. If you aren’t getting blooms on dove trees in your backyard, you are sure to be disappointed.
If you’ve got a dove tree in your backyard, you are lucky indeed. But if your dove tree has no flowers, you doubtless spend time trying to figure out why the dove tree won’t bloom.
The first consideration is the age of the tree. It takes a very long time to start getting blooms on dove trees. You may have to wait until the tree is 20 years old before you see flowers. So patience is the keyword here.
If your tree is “of age” to flower, check your hardiness zone. The dove tree thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 8. Outside these regions, the tree may not bloom.
Dove trees are lovely but not reliable about flowering. Even a mature tree planted in an appropriate hardiness zone may not flower every year. A partially shady location won’t prevent the tree from flowering. Dove trees thrive in sun or partial shade. They prefer moderately moist soil.
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Gardening Tips For The Mimosa Tree
The Mimosa Tree is a stunning show of flower bursts, which are often compared to starbursts or fireworks. This small to medium-sized fast growing Mimosa Tree displays the most beautiful pink flowers in the depths of summer. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds will flock to these flowers, which show off bright, tight clusters of pink to yellow-tipped stamens. Frequently known as the “silk tree”, the stamens of the flower are reminiscent of silk threads. The Mimosa Tree has unique palmate leaves, which appear as tiny fronds similar to the leaves of palm trees or fern plants. Texture is a large aspect of why the Mimosa Tree has gained popularity throughout the United States. The 20 to 30 small leaflets provide a detailed background on which the bursting colors of the Mimosa flower blossom.
The Mimosa Tree is known by many other names throughout the world. Its Italian namesake, Filippo degli Albizzi, provides it a portion of its scientific name, Albizia julibrissin. The other part of the name is derived from a Persian word meaning “silk flower”. Commonly found throughout the world’s warmer climates, the Mimosa Tree is a popular ornamental flowering tree. It is also fast-growing, making it an irresistible choice for many homeowners. For gardeners hoping to provide dappled shade for smaller plants, the 20 to 25 foot tall Mimosa Tree provide the necessary height, shape, and leave density. It is always a beautiful addition to the garden.
These drought-resistant and fast-growing trees do produce beautiful flowers, which when coupled with its small fruit and leaves, can create the need for a clean-up routine. Well worth the clean-up and pruning, Mimosa Trees are positively beautiful when planted as either a central focal point in the yard or in a row as a border along entryways or fences. Enjoy the luscious pink blossoms in summer and the gentle shape throughout the year.
Enjoy some quick tips here. For more complete information, read about these hints in more detail below.
Sunlight – Mimosa Trees prefer full sun in drier regions, some partial afternoon shade for the tree may prove beneficial.
Soil – The adaptable Mimosa Tree prefers moist, well-drained acidic soil however, the tree is often successful in a variety of other soil conditions.
Water – The drought-tolerant Mimosa Tree prefers at least an inch of water a week however, it is able to withstand mild to moderate droughts with relative ease.
Pruning – Pruning should occur in winter, while the tree is dormant only after it is established (3 years). Remove dead or diseased wood.
How to care for your potted Christmas tree
Everything you need to know about pot-grown Christmas trees.
Question: What's the best way to care for a potted Christmas tree both during the festive season and beyond?
Answer:A potted Christmas tree will have been grown for at least a year in its container, and so as it is a real Christmas tree, what you're really buying is a temporary houseplant. When buying one, find out if your potted Christmas tree is actually container-grown or has been recently dug up and potted, as there is often confusion between the two.
To put it simply, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) secretary, Harry Brightwell, explains to us: 'A container-grown tree has been grown in the pot. A potted tree may be container-grown, but is often dug from the plantation and replanted in a pot prior to sale.'
With container-grown trees, roots are developed in the container, so is said to be stronger and more healthy (as it hasn't been dug up). 'It is often possible to lift the whole root system out of the pot and see the closely woven root that has grown in the pot,' BCTGA told Horticulture Week.
Here's some key advice to follow for potted Christmas trees:
• You should bring your potted tree indoors as late as possible, advises the RHS. The weekend before Christmas is ideal, and it's advised not to keep living trees in the house any longer than 12 days.
• As with most houseplants, it's the watering that's the thing. Too much and your potted tree will die of 'trench foot', too little and the leaves will turn brown and fall. Always check that the container has good drainage and some sort of saucer underneath to catch any excess water.
• Avoid placing your tree close to a fire or radiator – this will cause excessive moisture loss and needle drop.
Epsom salt IS used effectively for plants in certain, targeted situations. Specifically, a form of magnesium sulphate is used to counteract soil magnesium deficiency in intensively-managed industrial crops. Responsible use of epsom salt in agriculture involves proving that the soil is indeed deficient in magnesium and also that the risk involved with the application is acceptable.
“The science behind the use of Epsom salts is only applicable to intensive crop production in situations where magnesium is known to be deficient in the soil or in the plants. It is irresponsible to advise gardeners and other plant enthusiasts to apply Epsom salts, or any chemical, without regard to soil conditions, plant needs, and environmental health.”Epsom Salts: Miracle, Myth, or Marketing, by Dr. Linda Chalker Scott, University of Washington
Epsom salts should only be used for plants if a laboratory soil analysis shows a soil magnesium deficiency and a risk analysis deems the application worthwhile. Soil tests for commercial agriculture include specific application instructions for slow-release horticultural magnesium which are custom-prescribed to the plot of land. Industrial agriculture companies also may have their own staff horticulturalists examine soil test results and give recommendations.
“A form of Epsom salts is used as a supplement in commercial agriculture where magnesium is deficient. While magnesium deficiency is an occasional problem for tomatoes in intensive agriculture situations, it would be highly unusual for a casual gardener to have this very specific type of deficiency. Why supply extra magnesium if it is not needed, especially if one runs the risk of creating other issues in the process?”Epsom Salts are Not Recommended: Unnecessary, Potentially Damaging, University of Saskatchewan
As discussed above, epsom salt is one way to provide a source of magnesium to nutrient-hungry crops growing in magnesium-deficient agricultural soils. That does not, however, make it ok to go out and sprinkle crystals from your bathroom all over your yard.
Epsom salts don’t look much at all like quality organic slow-release fertilizers….
Organic Epsom Salt For Plants
Is epsom salt safe for organic gardening? While the crystals beside your bathtub are probably not certified as safe for use in organic growing, there are specialized products that are indeed safe for organic use on plants. An example of an industrial epsom salt product is Magriculture, by Giles.
Magriculture plant fertilizer is an organic epsom salt product that is OMRI-Listed for use in organic agriculture – with the restriction that it can only be used if a soil magnesium deficiency has been documented by testing (see OMRI certificate). This agricultural epsom salt is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 9.8% magnesium (all of which is water soluble). It also contains a guaranteed minimum of 12.9% sulfur (see Magriculture Fact Sheet). This stuff is for the pros.