Answer: In my experience, this plant takes several years to settle in, become rooted and established, and then grow and bloom its best. (This is fairly typical for all perennial vines.) In the meantime you can top dress once or twice a year with good quality compost, keep it mulched year round with organic mulch applied in a flat layer over the root area about three inches thick, and avoid planting right up close to it as this would potentially cause root disturbance and root competition. You could also fertilize each spring with a general purpose granular or slow release fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Read and follow the label directions for how much to use and do not overfertilize as this can force overly lush, weak growth. Finally, watering is important for the first year or two, make sure the soil is kept evenly moist but not sopping wet/saturated and never dried out. Enjoy your hydrangea!
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