The Q&A Archives: Bloomless Hydrangea

Question: I planted a hydrangea shrub on the west side of my house three years ago, but it's failed to bloom. It gets afternoon light. What can I do to get it to bloom?

Answer: Your hydrangea is mature enough to bloom. Blooms form on last year's wood, so if you've been pruning the branches back, you may be cutting off the blossom buds. If you've been fertilizing the plant, excess nitrogen may be encouraging leaf andstem growth at the expense of blooms. This year hold off on the fertilizer and pruning, and make sure the plant gets at least one-inch of water per week during the summer season. I'll bet by next spring you'll see lots of blooms!

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