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Hydrangea Not Blooming

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Hydrangea Not Blooming
Determining why your plant is not blooming can be a mystery. This guide is about hydrangea not blooming.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 11, 2010

I have had 2 hydrangea bushes for years now and they don't bloom. I just have beautiful green leaves every year. They are planted in the open. Every thing around them blooms; lilacs, daffodils, torch lilies, and weigelias, but not them.

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Can anybody help me? Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Kay from Boonville, NC

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Answers

April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I was given a potted hydrangea from a florist shop for Mother's Day about five years ago. I planted it in our yard after the blooms died. It grew leaves only for at least three or four years before it finally started blooming again. Last year it was the prettiest color of all our hydrangeas. It had two different shades of blue and purple flowers. All my others are pink. Last fall, I began to put all of our used coffee and tea grounds on my pink ones, hoping to turn them blue or purple. If not that, then at least a deeper shade of pink!

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April 19, 20100 found this helpful

We recently had a plant specialist speak at our local library, and someone asked the same question. He mentioned that there are many hydrangea that bloom only on "old" wood and that if your plant dies back each winter then you will have lots of new foliage, but no blooms. There are new varieties being marketed that supposedly bloom on old and new wood. Hope this helps. We live in zone 5.

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

My hydrangea is 15 years old and it is this year that it has so many blue blooms on it, as I put the used coffee grounds on top of the soil all spring. All this time, it always grew healthily and had beautiful green leaves but hardly any blooms. The only thing that is different this growing season is that here in zone 4, we had a very unusual rainy spring.

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August 14, 20150 found this helpful

I bought a hydrngeas from a nursery several years ago. It had blooms when I got it, but hasn't bloomed since. Do I need to prune it to force the bloom.

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June 26, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, I Had this problem once. I Was told not to prune them after July because you will risk cutting off future blooms. Apparently they begin their new bloom process early. I have mine in a large pot and have not pruned them for two years and they have bloomed since. I prune them in mid July if I prune them at all and rarely water them in the winter. So far so good.

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August 31, 20160 found this helpful

They only bloom on old wood. Do not prune.

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July 11, 20170 found this helpful

I've read if you give too much food it will cause just green leaves . You have to give just the right amount I have taken out the old wood and now half my plants are blooming but the other half isn't --stumped!!

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By 1 found this helpful
August 20, 2016

I have 4 plants in different areas of my yard and not one has produced a flower this year. They all have plenty of green leaves. Why?

Answer Was this helpful? 1
August 22, 20161 found this helpful

Hello !

It could be due to the way you pruned them. Pruning an hydrangea is not easy. It has to be done at the end of the winter season. You should first cut the dead flowers but just above the new bud, that is the important point, because the flowers appears on the old wood only, that is the part of the branches which are already one or two years old. This is to make the hydrangea produce flowers, and to keep a nice shape and help the growth of new shoots you have to first cut the dead branches (they are blackened) and some of the oldest branches, to recognize the oldest branches is easy they are whiter, stronger and branched. You have to cut right to the foot, because you want more space and light for the new shoots.

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July 29, 20120 found this helpful

I have 2 "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants. They are planted about 20 inches apart so they get the same water and sun. Both had blossoms last year. This year, one is full of blossoms and the other does not have one, not even a bud. Both are the same size and full green. Any ideas?

By Joann G.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

I'm not sure where you are located, but we had early hot weather in March, which caused my Endless Summer to bud out early and then we got several killing frosts in April and May which froze all the buds off. The best way to ensure your Endless Summer will bloom is to cover the plant completely with shredded leaves or straw for the winter and don't remove the protection until mid-late May.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

Hi Adina! I agree with Adina. The exact same thing happened to my Endless Summer. They also are heavy feeders so next year you might want to feed them with an acidic fertilizer.

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Anonymous
May 29, 20161 found this helpful

I have a hydrangea that in the past was healthy and productive. This year the flowers are few and the leaves are turning brown. Can I save it?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 21, 2016

My housemate cut my old wood hydrangea back to the ground 2-3 years ago, and after sternly making sure he never does it again (!) I have waited and watched for it to bloom once again. So far it hasn't. I don't fertilize it, and we've had plenty of rain this year, it gets plenty enough sun, but there it sits in all its leafy green glory, refusing to put out a single blossom. How long after such a hard pruning will it take for my poor hydrangea to bloom once again? Would bone meal help?

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

My plant book says if they are pruned wrong it can take 3 years to come out of it. Meanwhile, I would fertilize it.

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March 2, 20170 found this helpful

You need to prune it after it's done flowering for the season. If done before, it will retard the pruning for a while.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 25, 2012

My hydrangea plant hasn't had blooms for the past two years. Should I dig them up or what can I do to invigorate them to bloom? All I get are the green leaves.

By Jim B

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July 30, 20120 found this helpful

It kind of depends what zone you are in and what type of hydrangea you have whether they bloom. Many times if you don't have a hardy hydrangea that blooms on both old and new wood, the blossoms fall off with a frost and then you don't get any flowers. The hydrangeas that bloom on both old and new wood are your best bet if you want flowers. I am in zone 5 and the hydrangeas that are suited for the south are not suitable here.

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August 1, 20121 found this helpful

I would leave them where they are and fertilize them this fall & put some epsom salt (sprinkle 3 or 4 tablespoons around each). The only other things are water and don't trim until after they bloom as some bloom on old growth and some on new growth each year. Lots of water and mulch with pine straw or oak leaves ground up with the lawn mower.

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August 12, 20111 found this helpful

I have a hydrangea that blooms beautifully on one side, but not the other! What is wrong?

By Peg

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By 0 found this helpful
June 13, 2011

My hydrangea is growing larger and larger, but has no buds. Is there something I need to add to the soil or just be more patient? I have a second kind, but it has small clusters of little flowers and they are starting to bloom so they are OK. Thanks for any help you can give.

By Jackie

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

Hydrangeas need a certain ph level. Though I know this effects the color of the blooms not sure if it will keep blooms from blooming. Check local nurseries if you don't find a good anwser here.

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June 21, 20112 found this helpful

My neighbor puts used coffee grounds (free at Starbucks!) around the base of her hydrangea plants. They have the largest, most beautiful blooms I've ever seen!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 10, 2010

My hydrangea grows, but does not bloom. Any advice?

Hardiness Zone: 5b

By Becky

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April 11, 20101 found this helpful

EasyInstructionsThings You'll Need:

Pruning shears

Garden gloves

Chicken wire

Shovel

Fertilizer

Water

Step 1Find out if the hydrangeas are the type that bloom off of old wood-growth from previous years. Hard winters can damage old growth, causing it to die back. If this is the case, there will be no flowers during the current growing season. Protect old-wood growth by building a chicken wire cage around the plant and filling it with leaves and pine needles to help insulate the plant during the winter months.

Step 2Don't over-prune hydrangeas that bloom off of old growth in early summer or late winter because the plant will die back even further, resulting in no buds to put forth blooms. Prune in the spring when the buds can be seen.

Step 3Plant hydrangeas in shade but not too much shade. If the plant is producing beautiful leaves but no flowers then it's getting too much shade. Transplant to another location.

Step 4To much fertilizer and water or not enough fertilizer and water will cause the plant to not flower. Fertilize in early spring and early autumn using a time-release formula. A time release fertilizer mix of 10-10-10 or 16-16-16 works well.

Step 5Transplant non-blooming hydrangeas to sides of buildings or northern and eastern slopes for better protection during the winter months. Also plant under evergreen trees, which will offer good protection.

good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
April 16, 20101 found this helpful

I would go with the right fertilizer. You might have been using the kind that works on the roots (nitrogen based) and not the flowering. The 10-10-10 should be fine or ask at a local nursery if you want to really push the blooms.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 2, 2008

I have three Nikko Blue Hydrangeas that used to bloom beautifully, but this year there are very little blooms, and most of them are near the bottom of the plants. The mop heads that bloomed are just as large as ever, but nowhere near the quantity of blooms we're used to seeing.

Any idea why this might have happened? We're wondering if the warm spell in the Spring and then a cool down (possibly even a freeze) might have contributed to the problem. We have other varieties of hydrangeas that performed well this year, but the Nikko Blue's were disappointing.

Hardiness Zone: 5b


Ruth

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September 4, 20080 found this helpful

Linda, it depends on where you live if they prefer shade. If you are in the south where there are hot summers, then it is a good idea to put them in the shade. But I am in the midwest, in zone 5 and I have hydrangeas on the east side of my house and they get morning sun and do just great.

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Anonymous
April 4, 20160 found this helpful

Nikki blue only blooms on old wood (previous year's wood). Needs winter protection; we've had some cold winters. Also don't prune after the end of July. You don't really need to prune mop heads anyway.

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August 4, 20130 found this helpful

I have had my blue mophead hydrangea for two years. Last year I transplanted it in my yard, facing the west, and it seemed like the western exposure was too strong, because the leaves were turning brown, so I moved it to the southwest side of my home. It has lots of healthy dark green leaves, but still no blooms. I have tried everything, used black cow manure, Epsom salt (at different times) and I water it every other day, but still no blooms.

By Lynn T.

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August 5, 20130 found this helpful

It took my mophead several years to bloom--about three as I remember. I didn't do anything to it. I am a put it in the ground and let it be. Give it a couple of years from the last planting and unless your soil is very poor, just leave it alone. Hope this helps.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2014

I have 4 hydrangea plants. I planted them at least 4 years ago, I never trim them, I just leave them the way it is all year round. I planted them, some in the shade and some in the sun. For many years, they never bloomed. Last year 1 of them suddenly bloomed 2 flowers, but the others still never bloom and this year none bloomed. The leaves are always green, big and healthy, just no blooms. What is wrong with my hydrangea? I used slow released liquid fertillizer with the middle number higher, but still no bloom.
What can I do to change it? Here is the picture of last year's plant with bloom, it had 2 pink flowers, changed from cream to pink.

By Sharon C.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 7, 2014

I have a blue flowing hydrangea, it had blooms last year, but so far it only seems to be growing higher, all leaves.

By Gwen G.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 18, 2010

My mophead hydrangea has flower buds, but only a few open up. What am I doing wrong?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Barbara from MA

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April 11, 20101 found this helpful
By Ellen Brown

Q: I have two hydrangeas plants placed next to each other. One blooms beautiful flowers and the other never blooms. They were planted at the same time and I was wondering why.

Thanks,
Betty

A: Betty,

You said you planted them at the same time, but are they the same type and age? The flower buds of some cultivars may not survive winter (not sure of your zone) so only the foliage emerges each spring. Also, it may take 3-5 years before your hydrangea reaches maturity.

Here are several common reasons for Hydrangeas not to flower.

1) Improper pruning. Depending on the type of cultivars you have, some bloom on old wood, while others bloom on new growth and do best when constantly cut back aggressively in early spring.

2) Too much nitrogen. If one bush is subject to high levels of nitrogen fertilizer due to its proximity to run-off from lawn fertilizer, etc., it may not bloom.

3) Too much shade. Does a building or tree cast more of a shadow on one plant, but not the other?

If none of these circumstances ring true, try cutting some of the root system on the plant that isn't producing blooms by inserting a knife or sharp edge spade into the "drip-line" of the foliage in the spring. Maybe this will shock the plant into a reproductive cycle.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Comment Was this helpful? 1

July 15, 20090 found this helpful

Why won't my hydrangea bloom?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Sandee from Falcon, MO

Answers:

Hydrangea Won't Bloom

I add 1 Tbsp. Epsom salt to a gallon of water and pour around the roots of my Hydrangeas once in the Fall and once in the Spring before they begin to leaf out. This has worked in making plants that were just all leaves and no flowers, bloom. It has also worked for my French Lilac plants which were not blooming at all. Try it. (07/14/2008)

By SueBee

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March 2, 20070 found this helpful

Question:

I bought and planted two Hydrangeas of the same type side by side 3 or 4 years ago. One has beautiful blooms every year and the other has never made a flower. I do not understand as they get the same sun, shade, rain, etc. Any idea what is happening here?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thanks,
Betty from Slate Hill, NY

Answer:

Betty,

Are they both planted at the same depth? If you think the plant that is not blooming is planted too deeply, try pulling a little soil away from the crown of the roots. Hydrangeas planted too deeply will not perform well.

Plants are temperamental beings. I've found that they can be as different from one another as people. Despite being given the exact same access to food, water and sunshine, even plants of the same species can respond differently to their environment. Since your hydrangeas are planted side by side, does one end up protecting the other from exposure to snow or winter winds? Could the flower buds from your non-blooming hydrangea be suffering from winter damage? Does one hydrangea receive even slightly more light due to its position next to the other? How about one being in a position where it would get too much fertilizer due to run-off from the lawn? You may also want to try changing when you prune the plant that isn't blooming just to make sure that isn't the problem. If all else fails, maybe it will be happier if you relocate it to a different place in the garden.

Ellen

More Answers:

Hydrangea Won't Bloom

You don't say what kind of hydrangea you have. That would really help in answering your question. I also wanted to mention that some hydrangeas, eventhough their roots may survive your cold winters and produce new shoots in the spring, they may never bloom because it is just too cold. Excellent info on hydrangeas can be found at www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com (09/21/2006)

By adina72

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September 16, 20060 found this helpful
Q: I have a hydrangea plant that is in its 3rd year. It gets mostly afternoon sun and morning shade. Why won't it bloom? My mom has one, too. We bought them together. She has blooms, I don't. I am jealous! Any advice?

Hardiness Zone: 4b

Lisa5 from Billings, MT

A: Lisa,

There are a couple of reasons your hydrangea may be failing to bloom. First off, compare the growing conditions of yours to that of your mothers. Do you offer yours the exact same light, soil, fertilization, winter protection, etc.? Do you seem to get a lot of dead wood each spring? If so, you may be losing the flower buds over winter and need to offer it some protection. You didn't mention what type of hydrangea you have, but if yours is a type that flowers on old wood, by pruning at the wrong times, you risk removing nest year's flower buds. To figure out what type of hydrangea you have and when to prune it, browse the information and pictures at www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com If you have been pruning or removing dead wood, leave your hydrangeas alone for a year and see what happens. Protect them over winter by surrounding the shrub with a cage made out of chicken wire and filling it will leaves. In the spring after danger of frost has passed, remove the cage and give the wood a chance to wake up (some types wake up more slowly). Apply a slow release organic fertilizer once in June or side dress with compost or well-rotted manure. Hydrangea's love water (hence the name hydro) and deep, less frequent watering is best. Finally, remember that like people, every plant is different. Your hydrangea just may take a little longer to establish itself before blooming.

Good luck!
Ellen

More Answers:

Hydrangea Won't Bloom

I have read that if you plant a hydrangea that you have bought in full bloom such as ones sold at Mothers Day etc., they wont bloom again. When they are propogated they are forced for a one time show only. They are grown for that one time blooming and no matter how you plant or care for them they wont do anything but grow. I am currently trying to see if I take a cutting from one such as that and root it that maybe it will trick it into thinking it is a whole new plant and maybe will bloom. They are easily rooted. (06/19/2006)

By spesialangel

Hydrangea Won't Bloom

I planted my hydrangea near a tree. I think for the first few years the tree took all the water from the ground. Whatever the reason, it took it several years to become established. It still doesn't grow fast, but it blooms... (06/23/2006)

By Carol in PA

Hydrangea Won't Bloom

I think I cut my hydrangeas back too far last fall, and this year all i got were green shoots, i didn't get one flower. If i leave them alone this fall and let them come back naturally next spring, will they bloom?
i need help with this, it seems like such a waste of a beautiful flower. (considering they were one of the reasons my wife wanted the house we're in.)

(b)Editor's Note: (/b) Because there are green shoots, it will probably come back next year. I think some hydrangeas only bloom on the older wood. (07/24/2006)

By RANDI

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October 11, 20050 found this helpful
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February 18, 20081 found this helpful
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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

How do you make hydrangeas bloom? I have beautiful lush bushes with no blooms. I do not cut them down at the end of the season.

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

We have two hydrangea plants that were given to us at same time.

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September 2, 20080 found this helpful
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