The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea--blooming and winterizing

Question: This summer I planted your Endless Summer Hydrangea. The plant is thriving BUT I am having a problem getting it to produce more blooms. The only blooms I have are the ones that were on it when I bought and planted it on May 15. I have been using Bloom Buster (10-52-10)fertilizer once a week for the past six weeks and I do not see any new blossoms. I did deadhead the other blooms and have a great deal of new growth. What am I doing wrong as far as the flowers?

Also, is there a point when I should stop the fertilizer for the winter?

I have the pink hydrangea, at what point (what color) should I be deadheading?

What do I need to do to winterize the plant?

As you can tell this is my first hydrangea, which I have enjoyed this year, with the exception of not getting any new flowers.

Thanks for your help!

Answer: As with any new plant, your hydrangea is going to need some time to settle in and become established and thoroughly rooted before it will perform its best. This plant blooms initially from buds set on the previous year's growth and then blooms on the current season's growth later in the summer and into fall -- the name endless is based on its extended late season blooming ability. As long as it seems to be growing well I think you probably just need to be patient with it. I would stop fertilizing by mid August to allow it ample time to harden before winter. Deadheading can be done at any time once the flowers have begun to fade, or you can harvest the flowers to use fresh in a vase, too. In late fall be sure the plant is well mulched with an organic mulch. Provide winter wind protection unless it is in a very sheltered spot. In the spring, trim back any winter-killed stems and also provide protection from any late frosts -- these can damage buds that have begun to swell. In your area you may find that the plant kills back to the ground each winter. This is where the later blooming becomes so important -- it can still bloom because it is able to bloom on the new growth. (Most hydrangeas only bloom on old growth.) I hope this helps.

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