The Q&A Archives: hydrangea blooms

Question: I just read that in northern areas the plant will die back and no flowers will bloom the following year. When I moved into my house 3 years ago the plants had flowers, none since. How do I keep the plant from dieing back so I will get bllooms?

Answer: Some types of hydrangeas develop flowers on new shoots which develop on old wood. If your hydrangea regularly dies down to ground level, there will be no old wood on which new flowering shoots can develop. You can try to protect the stems by cutting the plant back in late fall and then encircling it with chicken wire and filling the cylinder with fallen leaves, pine boughs, etc. to provide some insulation. If this sounds like too much work, you might consider replacing your non-flowering hydrangea with one that will bloom reliably in cold winter areas such as Endless Summer. This hydrangea blooms on new wood so even if it is killed back to ground level each winter it will still flower for you. Good luck with your hydrangea.

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