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Hydrangea Won't Bloom

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 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!

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)


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