The Q&A Archives: why no flowers?

Question: Hi, I have three LARGE hydrangea plants that are driving me nuts. It seems they flower everyother year, and this is the year of nothing. Is there anything I can do to kick up the flowers? thanks for any help.

Answer: Although it seems as though your hydrangea has gotten into the habit of blooming in alternate years, the only things that will really affect the flowering ability are weather and pruning. If there's a cold spell it can damage the developing flower buds or can retard the growth so that the plant does not have time to produce flowers. Pruning at the wrong time of the year can also affect flowering ability. There's not much you can do about the weather, but you can time your pruning so as not to interfere with the blooming process. Hydrangeas develop flowers on the new growth of the season. Some need the old growth on which to develop new flowering shoots. If your plant sometimes dies all the way down in the winter months and there's no old growth on which new flowering shoots can develop, that would account for non-blooming that year. Exceptions to this are the Endless Summer types of hydrangeas which bloom on new wood. With these hydrangeas it doesn't matter whether the tops die down in the winter months. Hope this information helps you determine just what's going on with your hydrangea!

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