Hydrangea Bloom: Why Won't My Hydrangea Bloom?


Date: May 26th, 2016


CountryMax.com Hydrangea 2


There are three possibilities for lack of flowering among the Hydrangea species. The first two – too much shade and improper pruning – apply to all hydrangeas, while the other – weather-related damage to flower buds – applies primarily to the bigleaf hydrangea.


Too Much Shade


While most Hydrangea species benefit from some shade, too much shade can reduce flowering. This is particularly true of panicle hydrangea, which is the one Hydrangea species that grows well in full sun. If you have a hydrangea that used to bloom well but now flowers only sparsely, evaluate whether the growth of nearby trees has reduced the amount of light that reaches the hydrangea. If so, you may want to consider moving the hydrangea to a sunnier location.


Improper Pruning


Improper pruning can also reduce flowering in Hydrangea. Since bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangeas flower on previous years’ growth, potential flower buds would be removed if the plants were pruned in fall, winter, or spring. Panicle and smooth hydrangea flower on this year’s growth, so pruning them in early summer would reduce or eliminate flowering for that year. See How should I prune my hydrangea? for pruning tips.


Unfavorable Weather


The most common reason for lack of flowering in the bigleaf hydrangea is unfavorable weather. Weather conditions that damage aboveground parts of the plant can reduce flowering. Damaging weather conditions include early fall freezes that occur before the plant is completely dormant, extremely low winter temperatures, and late spring freezes that occur after the plant has broken dormancy.


Bigleaf hydrangea responds quickly to warm temperatures in late winter and early spring by breaking dormancy and producing new leaves. Unfortunately, these spells of warm weather are often followed by periods in which temperatures reach well below freezing. The severity of the damage caused by these freezes depends on how many of the buds had broken dormancy. If a substantial portion of the buds on a stem were actively growing, the whole branch may die.



If you have any further questions regarding hydrangeas, email me at AskMax@CountryMax.com, or visit your local CountryMax store today!




Additional Resources: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/hydrangeafaq2.html#Why-not-bloom

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