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Hydrangeas Not Flowering

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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