hydrangea care - Knowledgebase Question

Cumbola, Pe
Question by mstone384
April 5, 2010
I have a Nikko Blue hydrangea that is over 5 years old. It is healthy and well-established, but I rarely get blooms on it. What am I doing wrong? What hsould I be doing to encourage blooming? I do not cut back the previous years growth. I had once heard the blooms were formed on the previous years stems. Not sure if that may affect it or not. My hydrangea is starting to leaf now. Please help.

Answer from NGA
April 5, 2010


There are only a few reasons an otherwise healthy hydrangea will fail to bloom. The first is lack of adequate sunlight. Hydrangeas need about 4 hours of morning sun in order to bloom. If yours is in a mostly shaded area, that might explain the non-blooming. It's true that some big leaf hydrangeas need to have old growth on which new, flowering stems can be produced in order to bloom but if your hydrangea does not die down to ground level each winter, there should be plenty of old growth on which new flowering stems can develop. A final consideration - too much nitrogen fertilizer can encourage lush, green growth at the expense of flowers.

I'd prune the hydrangea back now that it is beginning to put out new growth. Cut it back by at least a third. New (and hopefully flowering) stems will emerge from the remaining old growth stems in a few weeks. Hope this helps!

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