How to Increase Blooms on Hydrangeas

Overview

Hydrangeas have been a garden favorite for over a hundred years. This long-lasting shrub comes in a variety of white, pink and blue flowers that bloom over extended periods of time in the summer. If your hydrangea has stopped blooming or you simply wish to increase the number of blooms on the plant, there are several ways to accomplish the task.

Step 1

Study the sun patterns of your hydrangea's area. Hydrangea prefer dappled sunlight but can stop blooming if they receive too much sun or too much shade. If there are surrounding trees, the growth can shade over the hydrangeas over time. If this happens, cut back the branches of the tree to allow for some direct sun to reach the flowers. If they are in too much sun, transplant them to a place in the garden that provides some shade, especially in the heat of mid-day.

Step 2

Refrain from pruning the hydrangea in the fall or spring. Flowers grow from the prior year's growth so a heavy pruning will decrease the ability of the plant to bud. Hydrangeas require little to no pruning but if you need to keep the size of the plant in check, prune lightly just after flowering in late summer.

Step 3

Protect hydrangeas from early fall or late spring frosts. These unexpected shocks to the plant when it is not completely dormant can damage the stems and prevent blooming. Cover the hydrangea plant lightly with burlap or other lightweight material and remove it when chance of frost has passed.

Step 4

Fertilize your hydrangeas regularly. Hydrangeas are heavy feeders and utilize monthly applications of aged manure or compost to produce more vigorous growth which results in more blooms the following year.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel
  • Compost or aged manure

References

  • The United States National Arboretum: Hydrangeas
  • University of Massachusetts Extension: Growing Hydrangeas
  • NC State University Cooperative Extension: Growing Hydrangeas in Containers
Keywords: growing hydrangeas, hydrangea flowers, increase blooms