The Q&A Archives: My client has Hydrangea macrophyilla;

Question: Client has Hydrangeas which have never bloomed. they are about 6 yrs. old. Every year they have excellent leaf and height but no blooms. Previously they cut back in the fall. Last two year I have let them grow and die back on their own. Last month I removed all of the deadwood; being careful not to remove any of the limbs with buds on them. There are 16 plant in a 120 square foot space, also have partial shade from two willow oaks. I have not tested the soil.

Answer: There are only a few reasons for hydrangeas refusing to bloom: Hydrangea macrophylla develop flower buds on new shoots produced on old wood. If the plants are pruned back too far or are killed back by frost, there will be no old wood for new shoots to develop. Be careful to prune old canes down to only 12-18" above ground level. A second common reason for them to refuse to bloom is over-fertilization. Too much nitrogen will result in lush green growth at the expense of flowers. Finally, they perform best with at least four hours of direct sun. They prefer morning sun and shade from hot afternnon sunshine. Now that you know what can retard blooming, you can take the proper steps to ensure they will bloom well for you.


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