Hydrangeas - Knowledgebase Question

Syracuse, Ne
Avatar for kiminy
Question by kiminy
June 30, 2010
Hi. My hydrangea bushes have never bloomed since the first summer I got them, 4 years ago. Last summer I moved them to a different garden, and they look healthy, but don't have any flowers. Help? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I don't know what type of hydrangea you have but if it is Hydrandea macrophylla (big leaf hydrangea), these plants flower on new shoots which develop on old wood. So, if your plant regularly dies down to ground level each winter, or if you prune it back drastically and there is no old wood left, you won't get any flowers. I'd take a stem with leaves on it to a local garden center and ask them to identify the plant. They should be able to tell you whether to expect flowers, or not. If it is a macrophylla you may be able to add some winter protection over the plant to keep the old wood from dying back each year.

Overfertilization with a fertilizer high in nitrogen can also cause problems. This can result in a lot of vegetative growth but little to no flowering. Don't use lawn fertilizer if there's grass around the shrub and apply a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium such as 5-10-10 in the spring being careful to follow instructions. I hope this info helps.

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