The Q&A Archives: Non-blooming Climbing Hydrangea

Question: I have two climbing hydrangeas, both well established (12' tall) that do not bloom. They are on a north facing wall, with heavy blooming hotensias and oakleaf just in front. What can I do to encourage blooms? Is sun required for blooms? I fertilized with dehydrated cow manure this year with no results.

Answer: This plant does nicely on relatively bright north walls and on east facing walls, and since your other hydrangeas are blooming, the light in that location should be fine. Age tends to have a lot to do with blooming, some individual plants are simply more shy than others and the climbing hydrangeas in general seem to take an extra long time to become solidly established. You could try using compost and a complete fertilizer (such as 5-10-5) with a higher middle number to try to encourage them to bloom. Take care too that you are not oversupplying the nitrogen as this can encourage foliage at the expense of blooms. Since the other plants are doing so well, I really suspect it is still just a matter of time.

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