The Q&A Archives: How Do I Get My Hydragena To Bloom?

Question: I have a hydragenga and it stopped blooming two years ago after some sort of mildew effected the tips of the stems. The leaves at the tips turned black but the rest of the plant remained green. The mildew began effecting plants in the back yards and in the second year began to effect plants in the front yards. The plant has and now, in early spring is green. How do I get it to bloom again? How do you fertilize a hydragena?

Answer: Most hydrangeas bloom on the previous season's wood, so it may be that the winter weather or poorly timed pruning has killed back or removed the flower buds -- or the fungal infection has damaged them. I would suggest you take a sample to your Cornell extension for an identification of the problem and suggested treatment. Meanwhile, make sure you are not pruning your shrubs except right after the bloom season. A good fertilizer would be a complete, all purpose granular type such as 10-10-10 applied in early spring and again in late spring according to the label instructions. A top dressing of compost and several inches of mulch to help keep the soil cool and moist would also be a good idea. Keeping the plants in active growth by providing a moist soil during the growing season is also helpful.

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