Hydrangea - Knowledgebase Question

Columbus, GA
Avatar for BEEJohnson
Question by BEEJohnson
January 19, 1998
My hydrangeas are 2 years old. They have not bloomed. Do you think they are not getting enough light? And do they need to be pruned yearly? I'm considering transplanting them to another location.

Answer from NGA
January 19, 1998
Sometimes it takes a while to get hydrangea to flower, I know it took some of mine at least 2 years. They like to grow in well drained soil, high in organic matter (compost, leaf mould, composted cow manure, etc.) A helping of any one of those in the spring and fall will really help your plant to grow better (and improve soil composition). You may need to move them, hydrangeas prefer full sun or partial shade. Are yours in either of those locations? If yes, I wouldn't move them yet, they may just be a little slow to start. If they don't bloom after the third season, consider moving them to a more appropriate site. Of course, moving them will disrupt flower production too, because transplanting disturbs the roots and sets the plant back. Itmay take a few years to recover but the plant should eventually bloom. Over fertilization 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 on the 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. Hydrangeas do not require a pruning yearly, but when you decide to prune it should be done in latesummer after blooming. Since yours are not blooming, this is obviously a challenging situation. I feel confident that if you evaluate your situation, perhaps make a few of the suggested changes, and remember patience is a virtue, they soon will. So, when they do start to bloom you should prune stems that bore flowers to just above the nearest outward facing bud. Leave all new shoots uncut. Good Luck!

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