The Q&A Archives: Why do some Hydrangea plants not bloom?

Question: I bought several blooming hydrangea plants over the last 2 to 3 years. I kept them inside for awhile and when they started to look peaked I planted them outside. Most have rebloomed but some have not. They are all in the same soil and get pretty much the same light and shade. I have 2 plants that I bought from a nursery that have not bloomed ever. Why?

Answer: Let's see if we can sort things out for you. Hydrangeas develop flowering stems on old wood. So, pruning must be precise. If you remove all the old wood, new flowering stems will not develop. You should prune all your hydrangeas back in early March or April, cutting everything down by about two thirds. The remaining one third of the plant will develop new flowering stems for summer display. Hydrangeas need at least 4 hours of morning sunshine in order to bloom well and they do best in rich, moist soils. The plants you had indoors will need some time to acclimate to growing outdoors. It's possible they were forced into bloom so their timing will be off for the first year after they have been placed outdoors. As for your new plants, they may simply be too immature to bloom, but will eventually if they are getting adequate sunshine. Hope this clears some of the mystery!

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