HYDRANGEA - Knowledgebase Question

lorain, oh
Avatar for polishprince1
Question by polishprince1
November 15, 2010
Planted,5 yrs. ago ! flowered once or twice,morning sun watered! Donot know type of ! told,to try pruning! How far to prune and when,if I should? Plants appear healthy ! STEVE

Answer from NGA
November 15, 2010
Big leaf hydrangeas develop flowering stems on old wood. If your plant regularly freezes down to ground level or if you routinely prune it down to ground level, it may never bloom for you because there will be no old wood (last season's growth) on which new flowering stems can develop. It sounds as though the one time it flowered was a particularly mild winter. You can try to preserve the old wood by pruning the plant down to about 2' and then setting a chicken wire cylinder over the plant and filling the space around and above the plant with insulating straw, shredded leaves, pine needles, etc. With any luck this will keep the stems from dying during the winter months and will allow the plant to flower next spring and summer. If this is unsuccessful, you may want to replace your reluctant hydrangea with one that blooms on both old and new wood. Endless Summer is a good choice for your gardening region. Even if it freezes down to ground level each winter it will still develop flowering stems the following spring. Good luck with your hydrangea!

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