Hydrangea Flowering: What To Do If The Plant Doesn’t Bloom?

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The flowering period of the hydrangea extends into September. Find out what to do if the hydrangea does not bloom here.

Hydrangea (Hydrangea) blooming in pretty pastel colors, white, deep blue, red, deep pink, green to violet. With its lush colors, the ornamental shrub is a real eye-catcher in your garden. In this article, you will find out how your hydrangeas produce particularly beautiful flowers and what to do if they fail to bloom.

Hydrangea bloom time

When and how long the deciduous ornamental shrub transforms your garden into a colorful sea of flowers depends primarily on the variety. But also care and fertilization measures, as well as the location, affect the time of flowering.

Note: What is popularly referred to as a hydrangea blossom is actually just a brightly colored sepal, also known as a septum, from a botanical point of view. The actual flowers sit in the middle and form tiny white leaflets.

When is the hydrangea’s flowering time?

With the right choice of variety, you can enjoy the colorful inflorescences of the hydrangea for many months. As early as May, early varieties begin to open the flower buds that were created the previous year. These include, for example, the climbing hydrangea ‘Semiola’ or the velvet hydrangea ‘Hot Chocolate’. However, the main flowering time falls in summer. How long you can enjoy your flowering bush then depends on the variety, the care, and the location conditions. Most varieties bloom well into September, some even make it into October, for example, the garden hydrangea ‘Schöne Bautznerin’ or the panicle hydrangea ‘Tardiva’.

Why isn’t my hydrangea blooming?

Although the hydrangea is a very robust plant, it can happen that the garden will not flower. There can be various reasons for this; usually, the problem lies in the maintenance measures or the location and can be remedied with a few simple steps.

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Wrong location of the hydrangea

If the hydrangea does not bloom in the first year, it is worth checking the location. The shrub likes nutrient-rich, sunny to partially shaded locations with a slightly acidic pH. The blue flowers in particular need a low pH value, as the nutrient aluminum is partly responsible for their color, which the plant can only absorb at a pH value below 4.5. Hydrangeas that develop flowers in shades of red and white can also cope with pH values of 5.5 to 6.5. To achieve the right value, you can resort to a special hydrangea fertilizer that will lead the soil into acidic areas.

Hydrangea Flowering Time: What To Do If The Hydrangea Doesn't Bloom?

Tip: Some soils have a naturally acidic pH value and are therefore the perfect location for the hydrangea even without treatment. You can find out whether this is the case in your garden with the help of a soil sample or a pH test.

Insufficient supply of nutrients to the hydrangea

If your hydrangea does not want to start blooming properly, a lack of nutrients can also be a reason. To develop its colorful flowers, the hydrangea needs sufficient nitrogen, potassium, and trace elements such as iron, sulfur, or magnesium. For fertilization, it is advisable to use primarily organic products specially tailored to the hydrangeas.

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Organic hydrangea fertilizer is ideally adapted to the needs of the flowering bush and provides it with plenty of potassium and additional magnesium and iron, among other things. Thanks to its long-term effect over three months, the plants are perfectly supplied with all the important nutrients throughout the season. However, be careful not to fertilize your plants with nitrogen too late. Late nitrogen fertilization reduces the frost hardiness of the plants, which can lead to frost damage to the flowering wood and thus to no or only bad flowers.

The incorrect cut of the hydrangea

One care measure that quickly leads to the failure of the flower is wrong pruning. The new flower emerges from last year’s wood and since most hydrangeas develop their shoots with terminal flower buds in autumn, they must be pruned back with particular care. If the shoot from last year is cut off or the terminal bud is broken off, only leaf shoots will grow in the coming year. It is therefore advisable to cut back the shrub in spring. It is also possible to cut directly after flowering. Then you should be careful to only remove old inflorescences and dried-out wood. Here are more tips on how to cut hydrangeas.

Hydrangea Flowering Time: What To Do If The Hydrangea Doesn't Bloom?

Frost damage to hydrangeas

Although the hydrangea is partially hardy, it is important to protect it from frost because the flower buds have already been created. In winter, the bracts protect the buds from the cold quite well. In spring, however, when the bracts begin to open and the plant is developing its new flowers, late frosts can freeze into the flower.

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This is why it is particularly important to keep an eye on the thermometer at this time and to temporarily cover the hydrangea with fleece at temperatures around freezing point. If you have your plant in the bucket, you can also place it in a frost-free room. If the buds are frozen, you can no longer save the bloom this season, but with the right care over the cold season, you will be rewarded with beautiful blooms again next year.

The hydrangea is too damp or too dry

An adequate water supply is good and important. The substrate should not be too moist, especially between June and August, because then the plant can drift instead of blooming. This means that the plant develops soil-borne shoots, which means that enough energy can no longer flow into the flower formation and the flower either fails to appear or is only very small. But a lack of water supply naturally also inhibits flowering; so the right amount is in the middle.

What can I do if the hydrangea does not bloom?

  • Check location: Slightly acidic pH value, sunny to partially shaded, moist and nutrient-rich location is preferred
  • Protect from late frost with fleece in spring
  • Pay attention to the new flower buds when pruning
  • Ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients with nitrogen, potassium, and trace elements, for example with organic hydrangea fertilizer
  • Avoid insufficient or excessive water supply

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