Speedwell Aren't Blooming

Speedwell is a dependable bloomer that rarely fails to perform all season. Depending on the variety, most Speedwell blooms right up to the first frost. Signs that Speedwell may need help to bloom are decreased bud production or smaller flower spikes. Two techniques can encourage stronger blooming: pruning and dividing.

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Common Reasons Why Speedwell Isn’t Blooming

Speedwell is a long-lived, hardy perennial. Some of the cultivars self-seed readily and multiply quickly. Many other varieties have sterile seed and multiply by underground rhizomes that produce small plants. These plants need to be divided every 3-4 years. Speedwell growing steadily in containers will benefit from dividing and replanting every 2-3 years. A root-bound plant may also produce fewer blooms. Failing to deadhead the spent flowers during the summer will also disrupt blooming. Speedwell that is not regularly deadheaded will put energy into forming and ripening seeds instead of sending up new flower buds.  

Pruning Speedwell To Help It Bloom

The only pruning that will help Speedwell to bloom is regular deadheading of spent blooms. Cut the flower spike back to a full cluster of leaves. This spurs the plant to grow from buds on either side of the stem, producing more foliage and flower buds. Make sure to cut the branches back all of the way to a section of leaves. This technique also avoids leaving unsightly bare stems.

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Fertilizing Speedwell To Help It Bloom

An application of organic compost as a top dressing or mulch will add nutrients to the soil to support steady growth. If Speedwell is suddenly producing smaller or fewer flower spikes, an application of slow-release fertilizer formulated for roses and blooming plants may get it back on track. Apply this fertilizer once in the spring. Using a fertilizer high in nitrogen will encourage vigorous foliage growth that could be susceptible to pests, without supporting flower bud development.

Get Speedwell To Produce More Blooms

The other main reason that Speedwell will fail to bloom is if it needs dividing. The original plant can die out from the middle of the clump as it matures. This causes a reduction in overall growth vigor and blooming. Dig up plants and break off the smaller plants from around the outside of the clump. These new plants need to be replanted as quickly as possible so that they do not dry out. Water all new plants well for the rest of the season and mulch for added winter protection. 

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Why Speedwell Isn’t Blooming

  • Needs regular deadheading during blooming season
  • Needs dividing to refresh a mature clump 
  • (Less likely) needs an early spring feed of slow-release fertilizer