Getting blue hydrangers to bloom. - Knowledgebase Question

Seabrook, Ne
Question by richardlnt
March 21, 2010
I have 3 blue hydranger bushes in an area with full sun til 1 pm. then all shade. They grow very big and healthy leaves, but only one or two blooms. We have cut back the stalks to about 1 foot after the winter. Any help greatly appreciated.

Answer from NGA
March 21, 2010


Sounds like you're doing everything right but I think you may have the wrong types of hydrangeas for your growing region. Big leaf hydrangeas produce flowers on new shoots which develop on old wood. If your hydrangeas die down to the ground during the winter months, or if you prune them all the way down, there will be no old wood from which new flowering shoots can develop. They may never bloom for you, or they may only bloom sporadically. The flowers that develop are those on new growth that developed from an old stem that survived the winter. You might want to try protecting the plants over the winter months by making cylinders out of chicken wire to set over the plants and then filling the cylinders with shredded leaves, straw or other insulating material to keep the stems from dying down completely during thw cold weather. Or, if that's more effort than you want to devote to your hydranges, Endless Summer hydrangeas bloom on either new or old wood so even if they die down to ground level every year you will still get loads of blooms. Maybe it's time to replace your non-blooming hydrangeas?

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