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How to Make Hydrangeas Bloom

Hydrangeas brighten up the summer garden with their lacy blooms. If your hydrangea is not flowering, the United States National Arboretum points to three possible culprits. Too much shade and improper pruning can affect all hydrangeas, while weather-related damage to flower buds affects the bigleaf hydrangea, according to the USNA.

Plant your hydrangea in an area that receives some sun. Hydrangeas in general prefer light shade, but too much will keep the shrub from flowering. The panicle hydrangea is one species that grows best in full sun, according to the USNA. If your shrub is producing sparse blooms, consider moving it to a brighter location or trimming any trees overhead.

Prune your hydrangeas in the summer. Because they bloom on the previous year’s growth, pruning in fall, winter or spring would remove potential flower buds, the USNA says. Cut back some of the old and new weaker shoots from the plant's base, but do not to cut it back to the ground, according to Texas Cooperative Extension.

Protect your bigleaf hydrangea from unfavorable weather as best you can. An early fall freeze or late spring freeze can reduce flowering, the USNA says. Spread a light sheet over the top of your plant to shield it from unexpected frost.

Hydrangeas Bloom After Being Cut?

Of the dozens of members of the hydrangea family, only five grace gardens in the United States. serrata) offers slightly smaller flowers. Each of these terms has a special significance to the gardener. " This distinction is critical in timing your pruning, since cutting off all old wood from a hydrangea that blooms on old wood results in flowerless shrubs the following season. Your hydrangeas are probably the type that produce flowers on old wood, since the popular Hydrangea macrophyllas (mophead, bigleaf and lacecap) are included in that group, along with native shrub oakleaf. A late summer pruning allows the plants time to develop buds for the following summer's blooms. They are best pruned in fall or winter.


Mophead and lacecap hydrangea grow best in USDA hardiness zone 8, although they can survive to zone 5b with protection, according to Oakleaf cultivars can survive to zone 4b/5a, and all paniculatas plus the Hydrangea aborescens "Annabelle" are tough enough to grow to zone 3a, the website says.

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