The Q&A Archives: Monrovia Ayesha Hydrangea

Question: I have had two Monrovia Ayesha Hydrageas for three years. They have yet to bloom. Both were planted as per the instructions with the plant. One is in a bit more shade than the other, both getting enough sun. Both plants are lush and dark green, with no signs of stress, disease, or insect problems. As I have always been an avid gardeners, propagating plants with much success, I am truly puzzled as to why my hydrangeas will not bloom. I have friends that are seeing bud formation on their hydrangeas, so I don't feel it is too early.
Any help that you might give me would be much appreciated.
Thank you.
Patricia Webb

Answer: I think every accomplished gardener has at least one plant in their garden that behaves in an odd and peculiar way. Sounds like the Ayesha hydrangeas are your current challenge. The ideal situation for a hydrangea is in full morning sun and some degree of afternoon shade. It is almost a catch 22 as the more sun a hydrangea is exposed to, the better it flowers and overwinters. On the other side of the coin, the sunnier the spot, the quicker the flowers fade. A happy medium must be met for optmum performance while prolonging the flower life. If your hydrangeas are not getting adequate sunlight, they will bloom poorly and produce a declining number of flowers over the years to the point where you may get a few to none at all. There is simply not enough energy from the sun to produce enough stored energy for flower production. I suggest 3 hours of direct sunlight per day as a minimum.

Hydrangea macrophylla flowers off new shoots developed on old wood. So, if you prune at the wrong time, or if you have a late frost that kills back the flower buds, your plant won't flower at all. Finally, too much nitrogen fertilizer can result in lots of lush, green growth at the expense of flowers.

I hope this information will help you determine just why your hydrangeas are not flowering for you. Best wishes with your garden!

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