The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea Doesn't Bloom

Question: I cut back my hydrangea (which is about 10 years old) at the end of the summer of 1996. It has yet to bloom again. I have not cut it back again since, and each year it comes forth with beautiful, green foliage, but alas, no blossoms. Any advice?

Answer: Without knowing what type of hydrangea you have it is a bit difficult to make a guess as to the cause of the problem. However, the macrophylla types (which are the most common) bloom on the previous year's wood, so certainly your trimming would have caused the plant to skip a summer's bloom in 1997. A harshly cold or windy winter could kill it back enough to prevent blooming during the coming season, and overly lush or succulent growth (especially if the plant has been oversupplied with nitrogen during the season) is more subject to that type of damage. Finally, late spring freezes can also kill the newly emerging growth and prevent blooming for a year. I hope this helps you figure out what has been going wrong. I hope your plant blooms this year!

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