Answer: This hydrangea is only rated hardy into zone 6, and according to your zip code you are gardening in zone 5 which is a zone colder than that. So I suspect the problem is winter hardiness. This plant blooms on old wood. So although the roots are winter hardy in your area the stems and/or flower buds are not. Sometimes a very sheltered microclimate combined with winter protection such as a burlap fence around it filled with non-packing oak leaves will be enough to bring it through successfully. Also limit spring pruning to removal of truly dead stems, and be careful to provide frost protection once the plant has begun to bud or leaf in the spring. With special care you may be able to see blooms; I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.
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