The Q&A Archives: Hydrangeas

Question: I planted three hydrangeas four years ago. They get full sun and come back every year, however they have yet to flower. I must confess, the first two years I did not realize they flower on old wood and I cut them back. Year three we had a late frost, and I neglected to cover them, so once again, no flowers. This year, again a late frost, but I covered them and new growth is coming in fast, but nothing seems to be appearing on the old wood. I also gave them garden sulfur so the flowers are blue. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: If you're getting new growth from the bottom of the plant but not from the older wood, it sounds as though the plants died back all the way to the ground - inspite of your efforts to protect it. Since this is a pattern in your garden, you may be happier if you replace your hydrangeas with a variety that is more cold tolerant and flowers on new wood. Endless Summer, Blushing Bride, or Annabelle are the best hydrangeas for your growing region.

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