The Q&A Archives: Flowering Hydrangea?

Question: I have a hydrangea (Nikkos Forever Pink) in my garden and this is about the third/fourth year for it. The past couple of years, it had only one flowerhead. What do I need to do to make it bloom more than just one flowerhead? I don't even cut it back and have left the stems only pulling out any loose dead stems.

Thanks so much.

G. Wang

Answer: This hydrangea blooms on old wood, so avoid spring pruning except to remove truly dead stems as you have been doing. Hydrangeas need a fairly rich soil, so make sure you are top dressing with compost once or twice a year, using an organic mulch, and consider fertilizing as well. You could use a slow release granular fertilizer with an analysis of 10-10-10 or similar proportions. Read and follow the label directions. Make sure the plant is watered as needed to keep the soil evenly moist all summer, this means damp like a wrung out sponge and not sopping wet. Finally, hydrangeas do need some sunlight to set flower buds. They will handle sun all morning or bright dappled light all day. If planted in too much shade, they will bloom less. I hope this helps.

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