The Q&A Archives: What prevents plants from flowering?

Question: My sister-in-law gave us a beautiful Hydrangea plant about four years ago. We planted it in front of the house..approximately the East side, morning sun. It flowered for a couple of years, but sparsley. Now, nothing happens. We don't prune it anymore, since we found it is easy to cut off the new buds. My husband transferred it to a big pot, thinking maybe it would flower in there. Nothing. Can we put it back in the garden and hopefully have it flower again. By the way, it is a lacecap variety.

Answer: Lacecap hydrangeas produce flower buds in July and August for the following year so pruning should be done immediately after flowers fade (since yours doesn't bloom, plan on pruning in late May or early June next year). Hydrangeas need at least 4 hours of morning sunshine in order to perform well. I think that a four year old hydrangea will also require some renovation. If you remove some of the oldest canes (down to ground level), the plant will respond by producing healthy new stems and these are more likely to bloom for you the following year. You can do this now. Any new growth it develops this summer may not bloom next year - but then again, it may. I think it's worth a try.

Hope this helps!

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