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Hydrangeas Not Flowering

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.


Can anybody help me? Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Kay from Boonville, NC

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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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August 31, 20160 found this helpful

They only bloom on old wood. Do not prune.

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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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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.


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

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