I'm having trouble getting my Brazilian Red Cloak to bloom. It is in a large pot in half shade and half sun. It is at least 5 years old. I've used Super Bloom on it heavily twice this summer in addition to balanced fertilizer. It is kept in the greenhouse in winter and has not frozen.
It bloomed nicely the first couple of summers I had it, and since has been barren. Is the age my problem?
Besides the plant presumably getting bigger, has anything else changed between the years it bloomed well and now (have you watered & fertilized the same, have trees grown bigger and it now gets more shade than it used to, etc?)
And I'm assuming it looks healthy? If it's stressed by cultural conditions, insects, etc then that could definitely affect blooming.
Have you repotted it at all in those 5 yrs? If not maybe it's getting rootbound, or at a minimum the potting mix tends to wear out & get compacted over time so even if the roots are still fine changing out for fresh potting mix may be helpful.
ecrane3, thanks for your reply. I had not thought about it being pot bound. That very well be the answer. I do have trouble keeping if green. It always looks like it could use some nitrogen, which I have given it, but only in a balanced fertilizer. I'll try increasing the pot size and replacing the soil.
What is the lowest temperature this plant can tolerate? I have another plant made from a cutting last year, that at least gave me two flowers this year. I am considering putting one in the ground to see what happens. We get down to maybe 26 degrees a couple of nights most winters (except for the highly unusual ones). If I covered it up good, do you think it could stand that much cold?
I have also discovered that scale loves this plant. I remove any that I find on it daily. I don't think they are on the plants long enough to do any damage.
As far as hardiness goes, mine stayed outside all last winter, in a pot. It was a relatively mild winter, but we did have several nights that got down into the 30's and I never covered it. Didn't lose any leaves, even. I would think if you are careful to cover it when temps are going down below about 40, it should be fine.
I started it from a cutting in spring of 2011. It is now nearly 4ft. high and wide, and has been blooming for a couple of months. The only other one I've seen locally is at the entrance to Selby Gardens and it is a large shrub nearly 10ft. tall. They do bloom on new growth, so I'd agree with ecrane that you should try re-potting. It may be something that either has to be in the ground so it can get as big as it wants to, or you have to start new cuttings every couple of years to have a small shrub you can keep blooming in a pot.
I had to laugh. Today when I looked at the plant I found it growing a flower bud on one of the branches. Maybe it was afraid I might do something desperate to it if it doesn't bloom.
I am in zone 8, right on the a/b line. I don't mind dragging it into the greenhouse, and thus far the cold that it gets in there seems not to have hurt it...unless that is the cause for no blooms. However, it did bloom very nicely two years, so that can't be the problem. I think I'll put the smaller one in the ground in a protected area just to see what it will do. The cuttings take quite easily and I should have no trouble replacing it if it freezes. Well, as a matter of fact, I might just take one tomorrow and get it started.
Meanwhile, I'm going to repot the larger one. I might trim the roots and use a larger pot both, along with new soil. If I decide to trim the roots, I'll also trim the top.
How much sun does it need? Our sun here gets pretty fierce in the summer time. We always also have extremely high humidity.
Due to a problem with my camera, I can't send a photo right now. I really appreciate all of your comments and suggestions.
Kay, mine is in mostly shade in the summer, but gets more direct sun in winter when the angle is lower. Florida sun, as where you are, is very fierce in the hot months. You can see in the pic, it's getting peeks of sun now in the afternoon.
I finally got the Brazillian Red Cloak out of that pot! OH MY GOODNESS!!! I could not even cut through all those roots with a big sharp knife. I don't even know where the soil was. I could not even see any. Well, at this moment, the big root ball is lying out in the woods, and I made cuttings out of all the stalks.
Lesson learned. Do not let this one get root bound. (Yes, I had to cut the pot off the plant to get the root ball out.)
By the way, another one that is good for this is Petrea Vine. I had one of those that actually strangled on its own roots. That was years ago. You'd think I'd'a learned. (Now the petrea plants self seed all around.)