Hydrangeas are gorgeous plants that have fabulous blooms in the summer.  I am even a member of a hydrangea group on Facebook, where everyone shares their fabulous hydrangea photos.  One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “Why did my hydrangeas not bloom?”.  Before the question can be answered, you need to know or determine what type of hydrangea you have.  If you are not sure, here is some information from Proven Winners that can help you out.

We want to help you figure out why your plant did not bloom.  Here are seven reasons that can contribute to your hydrangea not blooming:

Age Of Hydrangea – It can take some types of hydrangeas 2 -5 years to mature and make blooms.  When you are shopping for a hydrangea make sure to select one with blooms on them or buy a bigger or more mature plant.

Sun – Hydrangeas are considered shade plants, but they need 4 to 6 hours of sun each day.  It is best to plant them in a location with morning sun or speckled afternoon sun.  It can be a problem if you plant your hydrangea in full sun as it is too intense.  Make sure to check the planting directions of your particular hydrangea before it is planted.

Fertilizing – If you are not feeding your hydrangea a balanced or hydrangea-specific fertilizer don’t expect it to bloom. If you use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content, you will see a lot of foliage but no blooms.  Look for a fertilizer with phosphorus as it promotes blooming.

Watering – Hydrangeas need to be adequately watered.  If you don’t water them enough the plant will circumvent flowering in favor of growth.  You will also find their leaves will wilt and potentially drop. Most hydrangeas want their soil to be moist.

Pruning – Pruning is one of the reasons you need to know what type of hydrangea you have.  Some hydrangeas bloom on old wood and some bloom on new wood.  If your hydrangea blooms on old wood, it means the flower buds for the current year are set on this year’s blooms.  If you prune in the winter to spring, you potentially could be cutting off this year’s blooms.  If your hydrangea blooms on new wood, it means your hydrangea is getting flower buds right after it pushed new growth.  These hydrangeas are best pruned in late winter to early spring.

Hydrangeas are low-maintenance plants and really do not need to be pruned.  It is best to buy a plant for the space you are trying to fill.  If you do not know what type of hydrangea you have do not try to prune it.

Animals – If you live in a location, where there are animals, they could be the cause of your hydrangea not blooming.  This is especially true if you have deer problems, where they could have come in and actually pruned your plant.  If you find this could be your problem, go to your local nursery and see what deterrents they recommend.

Weather – This can be a problem if you have a hydrangea that grows on old wood. As we mentioned earlier, the setting of flower buds takes place in late summer to early fall and goes through the winter before they bloom.  If you have a tough winter or an early spring that is warm and then get a cold snap with frost, this can damage your buds. 

Let us know if you know of other reasons hydrangeas might not be blooming.

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