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No catkins on Garry elliptica 'James Roof'?

My Garry elliptica 'James Roof' has produced no catkins in several years. It is fully grown and healthy. It is against a fence and had been pruned but in accordance with the usual advice. I think the catkins should appear on the previous years growth. Is this right? And what is the latest they should begin to appear? How common is this problem? Thank you.

Comments (4)

  1. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Hi Mary,

    Well, they should be flowering now - flowering time is usually given as Nov-May or Dec-Marc, but either way, catkins should be in evidence. You say "pruned in accordance with the usual advice" , what exactly is the usual advice you have been given?

    You are quite right, they flower on older wood, which is why the "usual advice" should be to prune them immediately after the catkins have appeared, ie in late spring, to give them time to grow new flowering wood for the following year.

    Can you nip out and take a couple of photos of it? It might help, to actually see the plant. It sounds as though you have done everything right... you could try reading this page for a long list of suggestions as to why woody plants fail to flower:

    Hope this helps!

  2. Grower


    Hi Mary
    I agree and think you may have either over pruned or pruned at the wrong time so lost the chance of catkins. I just trim any wayward or protruding stems and have had a beautiful show again this year, which has lasted for the last few months. The main problem I have with this plant - which is one of my favourites - is brown spots on the leaves, so I pick off the affected leaves and don't compost them to avoid spreading any disease. Worth doing each year as the plant is magnificent!

  3. Grower

    Helene U Taylor

    Hi Mary
    I don’t know how relevant this is to you Mary, but I have a 12 year old Garry elliptica 'James Roof' growing in a container – it has lived all its life in the container you can see in this photo. I don’t prune mine, I just tidy it a bit (I lost one branch in the cold winter of 2009/10, that’s why it is a bit lop-sided!). But it flowers beautifully most years…but not every year. Every now and then it has no catkins, and THIS YEAR is one of those years. The photo is from last year where it flowered as usual. I have learned to be patient as next year it will probably flower again. I blame the summers, every winter I have had no catkins has been after a cold and wet summer before. Fingers crossed you get catkins again soon :-)

    •  No catkins on Garry elliptica 'James Roof'?
  4. Grower

    Jim Edwards

    There are male and female varieties of this plant it is best to have one of each for cross pollenation

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