Some thoughts on getting Hawthorns to flower

I collected this hawthorn from farmland about 17 years ago. Its been in a pot all of that time but never produced any flowers. In recent years, its been subjected to a lot of work, a number of re-pots and several transformations to get it down to the size it is now.


About 6 years ago, before it was chopped back to its current height, I took a hardwood cutting from this tree and placed it in a pot to root. It rooted quickly and was placed in the pot you see in the next picture about 5 years ago. I have done very little to it since. It is pot bound and has never been re-potted. It is rarely fertilised and gets no winter protection in my greenhouse. The following picture was taken this week and shows the result of this neglect.


If there is a lesson I can learn from this that will encourage my other shohin hawthorns to flower, it is this. I will delay any future re-potting to ensure the roots are truly filling the pot to their maximum extent. I will reduce fertilising to the minimum necessary to maintain the health of the tree and I will only provide winter protection if freezing conditions become unusually prolonged and there is a danger of loosing the tree.


7 thoughts on “Some thoughts on getting Hawthorns to flower

  1. Very nice Hawthorns Robert. May I ask what time of year you took the hard wood cutting. I have yet to successfully strike a Hawthorn, not sure what I am doing wrong. I will remember to treat them mean and hopefully enjoy some blooms.

  2. Robert, my problem is that all but the youngest of my hawthorns (just 2 years in a pot) flower heavily every year and I feed them like mad to promote growth. I usually cut most buds off to conserve energy and reduce flowering. Could it be a species thing or a pruning thing?? I am not being deliberately controversial…HONEST

    • I appreciate your comments and the truth is I honestly dont know. When you look at hawthorn hedges you see very few flowers along the length of the hedge but loads at the end, this might be related to pruning. I’ve also observed that trees that are going to flower profusely, dont put on much new growth before flowering but trees that are not going to flower push out a lot of new growth from the start of the season

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