Why Won't my Hydrangea Bloom?

Filed under Plants by Lauren Cook on Thursday, March 22, 2012.

Didn't get any beautiful blooms on your hydrangea this year? As a matter of fact, this is not uncommon. However, getting your hydrangeas to bloom requires understanding why they didn't in the first place. There are a few possible reasons why this has happened:

 

  1. Did you prune your hydrangea back in the Fall? Some hydrangeas only bloom on last year's growth. By cutting this growth off, you potentially could be removing the next years' flower buds. Instead, when you prune your hydrangeas in the fall, try only to remove the darkest brown branches, these are the oldest stems. Or you can plant hydrangeas that bloom on new and old growth, like the 'Endless Summer' hydrangeas.

  2. Did you experience a late frost? The flower buds on hydrangeas can be highly susceptible to late frosts. If a late frost is predicted in the area, you can try to cover your hydrangeas to prevent losing the flower buds. Or make sure your hydrangea is planted in a protected location.

  3. Are your hydrangeas winter hardy for your growing area? Selecting the proper hydrangea for your area is very important. 'Endless Summer' and 'Blushing Bride' are two selections that are hardy in a wide range of areas, including southern Illinois.

  4. Are your hydrangeas planted in compacted, clay soil? Most plants prefer a moist, well-drained, fertile, loam soil. This is the opposite of the clay soils we have here in southern Illinois, which are poorly-drained and easily compacted. If you think this may be the reason you hydrangea is not blooming, try topdressing the soil around you hydrangea with organic matter such as compost.


Hopefully, these four tips will bring you many beautiful hydrangea blooms for years and years to bloom!

However, hydrangeas aren't the only plants that refuse to flower when they are unhappy. The following plants can also be quite finicky:

 

Why Doesn't my Azalea Bloom?

If you trimmed your azaleas too late (after July 1st the previous year) or if the azaleas you planted are not hardy for your growing area, then your azaleas might not bloom at all.

 

Why Won't my Daffodils Bloom?

If your daffodils have been undisturbed in the ground for many years and have suddenly ceased to bloom, try digging up and dividing your daffodil bulbs. Daffodil bulbs can be divided after their flowering season ends in the spring, so that you can still see where you've planted your bulbs. Leave all leaves on the bulb for 6-8 weeks after flowering season, or until Mother's Day in southern Illinois.

 

How Come my Wisteria Vine Won't Bloom?

Make sure you've planted your wisteria vine in full sun for optimum blooms. Also, be patient. newly-planted wisteria hardly flower. A vine could be in the ground for several years before it produces a singe bloom. Next, to encourage more flowers, try pruning the vine monthly during the growing season or taking a shovel to the root of the plant and do a little 'root pruning'.

 

Keep on bloomin'!!!!