hydreangea - Knowledgebase Question

pittsburgh, pa
Question by lmccaul4
August 18, 2009
Mid August and 2nd year hydrangea has no flowers. The plant is tall with 3 prominent stems. Leafs looked healthy until missed watering and they wilted now some leafs have brown patches on them. I planted last year in part shade part sun area. It was a beautiful shade of pink. My question is why no sign of flowers and how do I help in keeping fuller plant opposed to a tall splinter looking plant? Would appreciate any information on how to have a healthy, flourishing hydrangea. Thank you


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Answer from NGA
August 18, 2009

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Hydrangeas grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade. They need about 4 hours of sunshine in order to develop flowers. Pruning will help keep your plant bushy and, since hydrangeas produce blooms on shoots that grow from last year's wood, pruning is the key to blooming. If you did not prune after bloom the first year, the plant probably did not develop new flowering wood. (Pruning encourages the growth of new wood.) If you did prune, you may have pruned the shrub back too hard, eliminating mature wood, so that new flowering shoots did not develop. There's no guarantee your plant will bloom this year, but you can cut the stems back by about one-third at the end of the summer, and you'll encourage new flowering wood to develop next spring. Or, you can wait until next spring and prune everything back to about knee high. This will provide the old wood needed for new flowering shoots to develop. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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