The Q&A Archives: transplanting hydrangea

Question: I received a hydrangea for Mother's Day a couple or years ago. I planted it outside and it did fine and even had a couple blooms. This year it has leafed out but no blooms. I think it is not getting enough sun because the shrubs around it have gotten bigger. When is the best time to move it to a sunnier spot? Any advice would be helpful.

Answer: Hydrangeas grow best in morning sun and with protection from hot afternoon sun. I think there may be another reason for non-blooming in your hydrangea, though. If the hydrangea came from the florist's it is probably a big-leaf hydrangea (hydrangea macrophylla). If so, it may never bloom for you again. Hydrangea macrophylla produces flowering stems on old growth. If your plant freezes down to ground level each winter there will be no old wood from which new flowering shoots can grow. As a result you'll have a beautiful lush, green hydrangea but it will never flower.

I'd give it a chance to perform, though. Wait until this fall and then move it to a site with morning sun.

Best wishes with your hydrangea.

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