Candy Corn Plant Won’t Flower: Why Is Candy Corn Plant Not Blooming

Candy Corn Plant Won’t Flower: Why Is Candy Corn Plant Not Blooming

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Image by PFMphotostock

The candy corn plant is a beautiful example of tropical foliage and flowers. It is not at all tolerant of cold but forms a lovely bushy plant in warm regions. If your candy corn plant won’t flower, check that you are giving it the right environmental conditions and care. If you are, you should then look to its nutrient needs for answers regarding a candy corn plant not blooming.

No Flowers on Candy Corn Plant

Manettia inflata is known as the candy corn plant, cigar flower or firecracker vine. Each epithet aptly describes attributes of this beautiful Central and South American species. When a Manettia won’t bloom, it could be due to temperature changes, lighting, nutrients, inappropriate pruning, or possibly other cultural care, such as watering.

Humidity

As a tropical plant, candy corn vines need plenty of sun, moderately moist soil and humidity. In the absence of humidity, Manettia won’t bloom. To correct this, mist the plant daily if it is growing outdoors. Plants in containers should be placed on a saucer of pebbles filled with water. The water will evaporate, raising the humidity around the plant.

Temperature Changes, Lighting and Water

Other causes for no flowers on candy corn plant are too little water and improper site. Keep the plant away from cold drafts and in a full sun location but with some protection from scorching midday sun. Move plants in containers indoors for winter to avoid cold damage which can compromise future buds.

Feeding and Flowers

Manettia plants need supplemental food during the active growing season. While they may even bloom in winter in warmer regions, feed plants from spring until fall with a tropical houseplant food diluted at half strength every two weeks. During the same period, keep the plant moderately moist but half the water in winter.

A plant food that is higher in potassium will encourage blooming. Plants also need plenty of nitrogen to fuel leaf production and phosphorus, which also drives bud formation. A superphosphate fertilizer can also jump start flower production. Just be cautious about salt build up in container plants and soak them frequently to leach out toxic salt.

Pinching and Pruning

Sometimes when a candy corn plant won’t flower it needs pinching or pruning. Young plants that are pinched in spring will produce more stems and the process encourages blooms to form on terminal stems.

This is a vine-type plant and can be kept in check with pruning. It is fairly vigorous in warm temperatures and with good care and accommodates heavy pruning well. A neglected plant will produce flowers the next year if pruned hard in spring. Initially, more vines and stems will develop but the following spring, buds will set and the plant will be back on track with copious flowers.

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