Hydrangeas displaying beautiful and colorful blooms are indeed a sight to behold. These flowering shrubs can bring dots of blue, pink, white, purple, green, red and mint colors to your otherwise plain green garden. Most blooms stay for some weeks before they wither and die out, giving you ample time to appreciate your flowers for a an extended period.
It’s easy to understand if you get frustrated with your hydrangea not blooming this time around. Your garden could look dull and barren without the blooms displayed in their full beauty. Fortunately, the reasons for the lack of blooms are easy to address, and with proper care, you might see more flowers every blooming season.
Reasons for the Lack of Blooms
Your hydrangeas may not produce blooms because of the following reasons: they may be planted in the wrong location; they were pruned improperly, or the winter freeze killed the flowers.
Different varieties of hydrangeas also perform differently depending on the growing conditions, so it’s also important to take note of the variety you have in the garden.
Inappropriate Cultivar-Location Matching
Most hydrangeas can tolerate the temperate climate in zones 3-9, but it also depends on the cultivar.
For instance, the Oakleaf Hydrangea can thrive in zones 5-9 while the Bigleaf Hydrangea can tolerate the climate zones 5-11. Meanwhile, other species such as the pinnacle, smooth and climbing hydrangeas can grow very well in zones 3-9.
It is, therefore, vital to select the right variety based on the USDA zone of your area to ensure your hydrangea will not only grow and thrive but also produce full blooms.
Lack of Sun and Shade
Hydrangeas generally tolerate some sun, but they also need some shade. Once again, you have to keep the cultivar of the hydrangea in mind when considering this factor.
Getting sunlight and shade is a delicate balancing act. Most hydrangeas like some sun in the morning, but not direct sunlight. An in the afternoon, the shrubs will appreciate some shade. If you find out that your hydrangeas are not getting the right amount of sunlight and shade, it is best to transplant them to a location where they can optimize this experience.
A harsh winter freeze can kill the existing blooms and remove the chances for new flowers in the next blooming season. Hydrangeas can create blooms from either old or new wood, but regardless of the variety, you must strive to protect your plants during a harsh freeze.
A terrible freeze can freeze the blooms out and cause irreversible damage. If the damage has been done, there’s nothing much that you can do but hope for a milder freeze next time and wait for your plants to recover.
If you see a late freeze coming your way, you can protect your hydrangeas by covering them with a burlap or blanket and mulching the ground. This should provide insulation and keep the freeze from damaging any potential for new blooms.
Alternatively, opt for varieties that bloom continually regardless of whether blooms will come out from old or new wood. Some species to consider are Endless Summer, Pistachio, and Little Lime.
Hydrangeas need little to no pruning. In fact, they can thrive even without the haircut. However, some gardeners believe that some pruning is important to keep the plants beautiful and bring back vigor. But whether you intend to prune your hydrangeas or not, you must take caution, especially when cutting the stems.
Before pruning, you must first determine if you have the old growth or new growth variety. You can’t just prune randomly and run the risk of cutting on stems where the future blooms are supposed to appear.
As a rule of thumb, look at the stems to see if there had been previous blooms on them. You want to cut back just a few centimeters from where the flower was. Additionally, the Endless Summer variety should be pruned like they’re old wood varieties and you need to cut spent flowers as soon as you can.
The timing of the pruning is also essential to encouraging blooms on your hydrangeas. Old wood varieties should only be pruned after their blooming season and flowers have wilted. As for the new growth varieties, it is best to trim them at the end of winter or start of spring.
The lack or absence of blooms from your hydrangeas could be due to one reason or another. It’s important to keep an eye on these plants especially when you're pruning and care for them come winter time. Also, pick a variety that’s most suited to your zone to get a bigger chance of enjoying those beautiful blooms in your garden.
It may take some attention and effort encourage blooms on your hydrangeas, but once they begin to appear, the sight is well worth it.