If your hydrangeas didn’t bloom this year and are drilling down for the cause, wait until you hear why mine struggled to flower this year.
The season started with no blooms from everblooming mopheads. And normally, they start blooming in late May or early June depending on the year.
When I saw zero blooms, I knew something was wrong.
As a follow-up to my last post about my hydrangeas not blooming, this post will guide you through my flowering dilemma and how I’m fixing it to hopefully keep it from happening again.
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The Hydrangea Lady’s House
I started thinking about why my hydrangeas are not blooming while out on a run because I passed by the hydrangea Lady’s house.
For those that live near me, you know the house I’m talking about. Her yard is covered in several different hydrangea varieties, but they are mostly mopheads.
And I love her gorgeous garden.
It has a sense of formality with lots of hydrangeas, annuals, and gorgeous conical evergreens. It is such a joy to run by it daily.
Anyway, while running by, I noticed most of her Hydrangeas were not blooming.
Similar to my own, some had a few blooms.
But for the most part, those hydrangeas were not blooming as I’ve seen in prior years.
It’s so disappointing when a hydrangea lacks blooms.
Because it’s like you wait for it all year long.
So when they don’t produce those gorgeous flowers, you kind of panic.
And the first inclination home gardeners and novices do is to grab some fertilizer. But I implore you not to do that.
Because it’s not the problem. And you might actually cause more problems for you plant by over-fertilizing it.
Since publishing that blog, my Endless Summer Hydrangeas grew a few flower heads that will bloom soon.
So what’s going on?
A few months ago, I concluded that fertilizing my lawn after overseeding plus heavy spring rains washed fertilizer into the hydrangea beds.
Fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen produces lush foliage but does not encourage blooms.
While that could have contributed to the problem, I now believe the New Jersey winter caused my hydrangeas not to bloom.
Because now, my Endless Summer Hydrangea is starting to produce a few blooms.
And some are better than none.
Hydrangeas That Bloom on Old Wood
Several varieties of hydrangeas bloom on last year’s growth or rather, old wood.
Macrophylla varieties bloom on old wood, where buds form at the end of the prior growing season in late summer and fall.
If we prune the plant after those buds form or if sub-zero temps, early or late freezes kill the buds off, those hydrangeas will not bloom the following season.
The Endless Summer varieties bloom on both old and new growth. Since mine clearly did not bloom at all until now, it’s clear that the hydrangea did not bloom on the old wood at all.
However, they are starting to bloom on new growth.
So what does that mean?
It tells me that Mother Nature is the reason my Hydrangeas were not blooming this year.
And if you live in my area of the country and have followed the other requirements for hydrangea care, the weather likely affected your Macrophylla varieties too.
So What Can I Do to Encourage Blooms This Year?
Unfortunately, at this point, we can’t do much about hydrangeas that bloom on old growth.
It is what it is.
Let the plant finish out its season and plan to help it along for next year. Because there is a fix for this problem.
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Protecting Mophead Hydrangeas in Winter
Before winter temperatures arrive, there are a few things we can do to protect our hydrangeas from winter damage.
First, we can add additional mulch at the end of the growing season to help insulate the roots.
Second, we can try wrapping the plant in burlap using stakes and burlap from the local nursery.
So the idea is to wrap burlap around the width of the plant to protect it from harsh winds and temperatures.
Just leave the top open so light, air, and water can reach the roots.
For more information about how to protect Hydrangeas during the winter, see the University of New Hampshire’s Extension article here.
Another option is to move these Hydrangeas to a more protected area in the garden.
Since that’s a lot of work and garden space is a premium in my yard, I likely won’t do that.
There are other varieties that bloom on new wood more readily called Endless Summer Bloomstruck or Endless Summer Twist-N-Shout.
If protecting mine this winter fails to maintain the buds, I may try these other varieties instead.
Given my Hydrangeas have profusely bloomed in the past, I’m hopeful that some protection this winter will help it along next season.
More About Hydrangeas Not Blooming
How are your Hydrangeas doing this year?
I’m happy to know that Mother Nature is the root of the problem for me and not something that I’m doing wrong.
I plan to wrap them in burlap this fall to add some winter protection.
Will you try to protect yours too? I would love to know more in the comments below.
Also, since I questioned whether any of the grass fertilizer washed into the hydrangea beds this spring, I’ll be more aware of applying it further away from those beds to ensure it does not wash in with heavy spring rains.
And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!
If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!
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More About Hydrangeas
- The Complete Guide to Hydrangea Care and Their Flowers
- The Basics of Hydrangea Care
- How to Dry a Hydrangea the Easy Way
- How to Divide Hydrangeas
- 7 Easy Steps to Propagating Hydrangeas
- Why Aren’t My Hydrangeas Blooming?
- Why Aren’t My Hydrangeas Blooming – Update?
- Are Hydrangeas Deer Resistant?
- How to Prune Hydrangeas
- How to Make a Hydrangea Wreath for Free
- Pruning Hydrangeas, Ornamental Shrubs, and Other Woody Plants
Garden Supplies I Use
I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
- I like to use a good-quality garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad.
- Hands down this is my favorite hand-weeding tool. You can use to get underneath roots, loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I like to use THIS ORGANIC FERTILIZER for roses because the blooms are more prolific and it’s organic.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- Where pest and disease problems are concerned, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
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