I started thinking about why my Hydrangeas are not blooming while out on a run today 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.
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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.
About a month ago, I shared a blog about Hydrangeas, their care and reasons why a hydrangea does not bloom.
It’s so disappointing when a hydrangea lacks blooms.
If you haven’t read it yet, you can read it here.
Since publishing that blog, my Endless Summer Hydrangeas have grown 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.
My Endless Summer Hydrangea is starting to produce a few blooms.
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 varietes too.
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.
How Do I Protect Mophead Hydrangeas for the Winter?
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.
When I prepare to do this, I’ll blog it, but the idea is to wrap burlap around the width of the plant to protect it from harsh winds and temperatures.
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.
What Do You Think?
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?
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 insure it does not wash in with heavy spring rains.
More Hydrangea Posts You May Enjoy
- The Complete Guide to Hydrangea Care and Their Flowers
- The Basics of Hydrangea Care
- Why Aren’t My Hydrangeas Blooming
- The ULTIMATE Guide to Keeping Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping
- How to Dry a Hydrangea the Easy Way
- How to Divide Hydrangeas
- How to Propagate Hydrangeas in 7 Easy Steps
- Are Hydrangeas Deer Resistant?
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