The Q&A Archives: Is it a Hydrangea?

Question: I have a plant on which the leaves look like hydrangea leaves but it never gets any buds nor blooms. I'm wondering what it is, it dies back completly in the fall so I'm thinking it's not a hydrangea since there are no woody stems left over. I was told by the previous house owners that it was a hydrangea. Do you have any ideas? It get western exposure.

Answer: It could be a hydrangea. In northern climates, Hydrangea macrophylla, bigleaf hydrangea, will put on plenty of foliage but no blossoms. The blossoms are borne on second year wood, and this plant dies back to the ground every year just like any other perennial so it never has second year wood. This is the hydrangea that is often sold with pink or blue flowers. Hope this helps!

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