dcamp1017
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Location: Ohio

Hydrangea Bushes Stopped Flowering for 2 Years

Hello,

I have 5 hydrangea bushes. The always got the most beautiful blue flowers every year. For the past two summers, even though the bushes looked healthy and the leaves very green, there has been not one single flower on any of them. What could have happened and what can I do to try and make them bloom this summer? Thank you.

Donna
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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Hydrangea Bushes

Hi and welcome to the Forum... we have a resident hydrangea expert luis, who will probably be along in awhile and give a better answer than I can.

But in the meantime, couple things I would wonder about. Have you been pruning them? When (at what point in the season)? Hydrangeas (mostly, depending on variety) set their buds for the following year in late summer. So if you prune after that, you are pruning next year's flowers off. Hydrangeas need little to no pruning. Do you know what variety hydrangea you have?

Have you been fertilizing them? With what? High nitrogen fertilizers can lead to lots of big, very green, leafy growth at the expense of flowering. Are they sitting in the middle of a lawn? Is the lawn fertilized? Since we don't want lawns to bloom, grass fertilizer is high nitrogen, as above.

Where (in Ohio) are you located (Cleveland has quite a different climate from Cincinnati) and what have your winters been like lately? Very harsh winters, especially if your shrubs are in an exposed, unprotected location, can kill the buds, which are just sitting there waiting for the following summer.

But if they are the variety of hydrangea that blooms on "old wood," that is with the flower buds that were set last year, there may be nothing you can do to make it bloom this year. Look at them closely. If they have no buds, they aren't going to flower this year.

hydrangea flower buds in winter:
Image
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dcamp1017
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:02 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Hydrangea Bushes

I live in Cleveland and we had an extremely mild winter. We did not prune at all last year. Just the other day, we saw a lot of green leaves at the bottom but nothing but dead wood sticking up. There are not any buds at all on the dead wood. It's just a mystery to me. I planted these bushes about 20 years ago. I don't know what variety they are.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Hydrangea Bushes

Dead wood is dead and of course won't flower. I would prune out all the dead wood, to give the new green sprouts a better chance. Doesn't sound like it will bloom this year and I don't know why from what you have said that they died back so much. But if you continue to take care of the new sprouts it may well get rejuvenated.

Hydrangeas are long-lived plants and can live for fifty years with good care. You didn't say have you fertilized it?
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

dcamp1017
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Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:02 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Hydrangea Bushes

I haven't fertilized with anything special for hydrangeas. Just Miracle Grow.
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LIcenter
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Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7a/6b-ish

Re: Hydrangea Bushes Stopped Flowering for 2 Years

Many people on Long Island are experiencing the same problem as you, including me. Two winters back was quite harsh, and killed them all back to the ground.That following spring they came back with lush green growth. This winter was very mild, and they still died back to the ground. My guess (for me anyway) was they suffered from lack of water due to very low precipitation. This spring I moved three to a little shadier, and wetter location, and now they are growing at double the rate of past years. I guess time will tell if I'm on the right track.

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