No Flowers On A Dove Tree – Tips For Getting Blooms On Dove Trees

Dove Tree
dove tree
(Image credit: MMilda)

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. But what if your dove tree has no flowers? If your dove tree won’t bloom, any number of issues might be at play. 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.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.