Topic: Gardening

Hydrangea Care | My Hydrangea Doesn’t Bloom

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Hydrangea Care

Keep your hydrangea blooming year after year with these tips.

Brenda Darroch

Q. I have a hydrangea that has not blossomed for three years. It has lots of green foliage, but no blooms. What could be the problem? A.A., Gloucester, MA

A. Chances are you have a bigleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, which produces flowers on the previous year’s growth. This type of hydrangea can be shy to produce flowers in New England for several reasons, but can be coaxed into blooming with the proper hydrangea care.

Hydrangea Care | Reasons Hydrangeas Don’t Bloom

1. The plant is located in an area that doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight.

2. It may be planted too deep in the ground.

3. Last year’s flower buds are missing (cut off), or damaged by cold or fluctuating temperatures.

4. It’s a “florist” type that’s not sufficiently climate-hardy to produce flowers outdoors.

To properly care for your hydrangea, make sure it gets at least six hours of sunlight per day all summer. In the fall, don’t cut back the top growth. Protect the branches from the winter and early-spring sun, which can damage buds owing to sharp temperature fluctuations. Make sure you provide sufficient moisture so that the plant grows vigorously and doesn’t wilt.

Ask the experts at your local garden center to recommend varieties that have proven to be reliable performers in your area. Additional information on hydrangea care is also available on The American Hydrangea Society’s Web site: americanhydrangeasociety.org

  • I live in Austin, Texas. Can I grow hydrangea? I have a plant in a pot. Can it grow in a pot and bloom? Thanks.

  • Hi Joseph,
    I have had really nice luck putting a little fence around the hydrangea. You know those cheap little metal fences, usually green in color? I wrapped one around the base of the plant. The plant is very full supported nicely by the fencing. You do not see the fencing because the blooms still bend downward. It took about 5 minutes to do.

  • Brenda

    Hi Teri,
    We don’t have any information on separating hydrangeas at this time, but you should be able to find that answer by searching on Google. Good luck!

  • Can the plant be separated into two plants and if so when should you do it ?

  • Had the particular bush for over 8 years bloomed the first few years and we have never seen another flower, I do remember breaking off a few flowers for mother, but still bloomed the flowing year. Haven’t seen a flower now in 5 years please help.

  • Hi Barbara, It’s okay to deadhead the flowers on your hydrangea after they turn brown. Buds formed this season will bloom the following year.

  • Barbara

    When the Hydrangea blooms, and then the blooms lose their color and appear dead, do you cut the heads off? If you do deadhead them, will they bloom again the same season or not until the next season?

  • I have a healthy, blooming hydrangea, but my problem is that when it blooms, all of the blooms are too heavy for the stalks and the whole thing droops to the ground. I’ve tried cutting it back, to little avail. Beyond extensive staking, how can I get this to both bloom as heavily as it does AND stay upright?


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