The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea

Question: The leaves on my hydrangea wilted after our first frost. Do I need to prune for winter? Also, they have never bloomed, what should I do?

Answer: Hydrangea should be pruned in late summer after blooming. When pruning you should prune stems that bore flowers to just above the nearest outward facing bud. Leave all new shoots uncut. You didn't mention how old your hydrangeas are; it is not unusual for hydrangeas to not bloom for several seasons. I have some that are three years old and bloomed (not much) for the first time this summer. Sometimes over fertilization can halt blooming. Too much nitrogen is often the culprit. Be careful when applying lawn fertilizer around your hydrangeas--as a matter of fact, try not to apply it around your hydrangeas. Hydrangea prefer a mix high in potassium and phosphorus such as a 5-10-10. Also, what type of light is your hydrangea getting? For good bloom you need full sun to just slight shade. They also prefer a soil that never dries out completely.

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