I had two large beautiful plants--one rose, one blue-green--but this
season there are no blooms, and last summer there weren't any either,
just lush leaves. I suspect our recent harsh winters had something to
do with this. I'm wondering if I should bite the bullet and dig them
up, or has anyone seen blooms after several non-blooming seasons?
Before digging them, try protecting them over the winter. You can wrap them
with burlap or form a cylinder around them with light weight fencing and
fill that with leaves. They bloom on the previous year's growth, so if the
tips die back, you won't get any flowers. I gave a lovely "forever pink"
hydrangea to my neighbor. Last spring I saw them examining it and they were
discussing whether to cut it back, thinking that it had died. I explained
that it was just fine and that cutting it back would be detrimental. It
bloomed magnificently. This year they couldn't resist, so they cut it back
to the ground!!! It has put on a lot of growth, but not one flower.
Sometimes people perplex me. These are the same people who insisted on
digging up a bunch of calla lilies that had been in the ground for years
before they moved in and had put on a great show each year. They finally
said that it was too much work, so they gave them all to me. The few that
they missed came up and are blooming. I don't know why they just didn't
leave them alone. That would have been the least bother imaginable. Oh
well, my gain. I gave them some of the orange ditch lilies - they managed to
Can you prune hydrangeas safely without sacrificing blooms?
My landlord's is getting long and tall. I had read to prune them in
late winter while still dormant. Instead they cut them in spring when
the lower part was already leafing out. Only 2-3 blooms on low
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
2nd year gardener
The best time to prune without sacrificing flowers is immediately after they
bloom in the spring or early summer In my area, that would now. That gives
them time to put on some growth and form next years flower buds. It's the
same idea as with most spring blooming shrubs such as azaleas. I'm talking
about hydrangea macrophylla. I'm not sure about paniculata, or quercifolia,
as mine are so slow growing that pruning isn't a consideration. I've never
hear anyone discuss pruning hydrangea petiolaris. My hunch would be that
you would prune it in the early summer after it blooms.
Sorry to hear that your Hydrangeas have not bloomed this
year. They are such beautiful plants and I know how much
you must be missing them.
Here is a link to a site that has some information on what
to do if your Hydrangeas fail to bloom:
I hope the information helps.
My neighbor, Wanda, grows Hydrangeas and here are some
pictures of her pink and blue ones:
As others have noted, most hydrangeas bloom on last years growth,
commonly referred to as "old growth". If the plant was pruned in the late
fall or early spring, or the plant died down to the ground over the winter,
then your chances for blooms are slim to none.
You have a few options here. As previously mentioned, you can offer
your hydrangeas some winter protection in order to preserve the bud sites
over the winter. If you aren't able or willing to do this additional work
every fall you could always dig them up and replace with one of the new
cultivars that blooms on "new wood" or the current seasons new growth.
I just purchased one of these newer varieties this spring, an Endless
Summer Hydrangea. It alreay has 6 large blooms and is growing new ones
everytime I look at it. All on this seasons new growth as the plant was
pruned down to the ground in the gallon container when I bought it this
Matt in MI
My wife picked one up on sale this year, we've debated on where to put it
since the ultimate location is not ready for plants. We Put it in a large
clay pot, and it showing new growth, any thoughts on how we can keep it
through a michigan (SE) winter?
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