The Q&A Archives: hydrangeas

Question: my hydrangeas have not bloomed for the last 2 years. I do not trim them as I'm aware the blooms come on second year growth. Previously they bloomed vigorously and nothing has really changed.

Answer: If they bloomed in years past but won't bloom now, they may need to be pruned to encourage new flowering growth. If your plant has second year growth, prune it back in the spring, leaving 3-4 buds on the old growth. (Wait until the buds swell before pruning so you'll know where they are on the old wood.) New flowering shoots will develop on the old wood after pruning and as long as the plant is getting at least 4 hours of morning sun, it should flower for you. The only other reason your hydrangea might not bloom is excessive nitrogen fertilizer which promotes lots of green growth but at the expense of flowers. Even if you do not deliberately feed your hydrangea, if it is near a lawn that you regularly fertilize, it may be getting too much nitrogen. Hope this information helps you determine just why your hydrangea refuses to bloom!

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