Why Are My Hydrangeas Not Blooming This Year?

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.

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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.

Why Hydrangeas Refuse to Bloom

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.

Why Hydrangeas Refuse 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.

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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.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas in 7 Easy Steps

Other Options

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.

How to Dry a Hydrangea the Easy Way

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.

Why Hydrangeas Refuse to Bloom

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.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas in 7 Easy Steps

More Hydrangea Posts You May Enjoy

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  1. I am so happy to find your hydrangea information. I have grown them for many years with little effort, except protection for mopheads. Our weather in Oklahoma has been so erratic, I had begun thinking that it was the culprit. I also have been having problems growing tomatoes, which in our state are very easy. I have tried every piece of advice for the hydrangeas that I could find, but have been very discouraged for about 3 – 4 years now. Thanks for the blog. I will be following you.
    Peggy Burress

    1. So nice to meet you Peggy! I am so happy to hear you find it helpful and truly appreciate you following along. I love to receive feedback and your kind words mean the world to me. Enjoy your day!

  2. Hi, I had this problem this year 2020 too, I think it was the weather that froze my buds colored ones, but my white mopehead bloomed beautiful this year, don’t understand that! I did get a few flowers but they were on the backside of my hydrangeas probably because of being protected from weather. I also started fertilizing with Holly Tone for acid loving plants, I find at Walmart but am sure can find on internet. I scratch it into the soil around plant and water throughly into the soil in the spring and fall, I have been doing this for a few years now and last years I had tons of blooms! I am definitely going to cover mine with burlap this year and hope for the best. Hope this helps.

    1. It was a strange year for hydrangeas depending where you are! Last year, I struggled with blooms on my everbloomers last year. We had a deep freeze here this spring – I thought for sure they were goners but they actually bloomed better than they have in years! I was so happy to see it bloom well!

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