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My hydrangea never bloomed this year. Did I do something wrong?

Answer

I have heard that question a lot this year. You may not have done anything to cause the lack of blooms. Either one of two things could have happened.

1) Most types of hydrangeas bloom on "old wood," stems that were in place the year before. So if you pruned your hydrangeas in August or later last year, you probably cut off the forming buds and you will have to wait until next year to see them. It is OK, however, to cut off dead blooms or dead wood at any time without causing a problem.

2. This year, we had cold weather well into spring, which raised havoc with hydrangeas. Late spring freezes for extended periods of time can damage the stems, kill the forming buds and the flowers will not bloom. Fortunately, this doesn't happen every year, and in most years hydrangeas make out just fine. So, be patient, cut out the dead wood and wait for next year and we should be fine as long as the winter weather cooperates! Some people go the trouble of erecting barriers to insulate hydrangeas, but as the plant gets larger, it becomes an increasingly impractical thing to do.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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