The Q&A Archives: Hydrangeas

Question: I have tried for 3 years now to get a hydrangea to live and bloom. I have tried a couple sides of my home and it will live, but not bloom. I fertilize it and still nothing. I have planted them in the special peat for hydrangeas also. PLEASE HELP!!!
Thank you,

Answer: I'm not sure what to tell you! Hydrangeas prefer morning sun and afternoon shade in your gardening region. They grow best in rich, loose soil with regular waterings. Hydrangea macrophylla, the most commonly grown hydrangea, produces flowers on new shoots which grow from old wood. If your hydrangea is freezing down to ground level each winter, or if you are pruning it all the way down each spring, it won't flower for you. Try planting again. First, amend your soil with compost or aged manure to make sure it drains quickly. After planting your hydrangea, water it deeply and remember to water it once each week - twice if the weather is really hot. In the spring, when new buds begin to swell on the branches, cut everything down to about knee high. Then prune each cane to an outside-facing bud. The shoots which develop will flower. If the weather is such that your shrub freezed all the way down to ground level, choose a hydrangea such as Endless Summer or August Beauty which blooms on both old and new wood. This should assure you of flowers each year.

Best wishes with your new hydrangea!

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