The Q&A Archives: Why doesn't my hydrangea flower

Question: Our hydrangea grows so big but has no flowers - what should I do?
And we have a japanese maple that the leaves are not red anymore - what do I do.
Thank You so much
Barbara J Jones

Answer: Quite often the red leafed Japanese maples lose their red coloring and turn green as the season progresses. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, but be patient and know that it will be red again next spring. This is part of the charm of these very special trees. Also, most turn vivid colors in the fall. This gives them four different seasonal looks every year.

The bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)bloom on old wood that grew the previous year. Your zip code places you in zone 6A which is towards the northern end of the growing area for big leaf hydrangeas so it may be related to winter cold. These often fail to bloom if the stems are damaged by excessively cold winter weather, or if they are pruned at the wrong time. Pruning in fall, winter or spring will remove flowering wood or buds. Spring frosts can also damage buds as they begin to emerge.

It might help to provide it with a windbreak during the winter. Or, some gardeners wrap their hydrangeas each winter. To do this, place a cylinder of chicken wire around the plant then fill that with dry nonpacking material such as oak leaves or straw. Cover the top with plastic so it stays dry, but allow some gaps for air flow to prevent condensation. Put this on in very late fall after there has been freezing weather and the plant has gone dormant. Remove it gradually in early spring so it can wake up with the season.

Another reason for lack of bloom could be lack of sun. These are shade tolerant but they do need bright light such as bright dappled light all day or morning sun in order to bloom. They also do best with rich organic soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. In poor soil or overly dry locations they will also bloom less.

I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by cocoajuno and is called "Here's looking at you."