Last updated on April 8th, 2022
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Hydrangeas are beautiful plants with stunning flowers. It is the flowers that lure most people to them. But what happens when your Hydrangea stops flowering?
There are several things that can result in a lack of flowers, ranging from too much fertiliser, frost damage, or more commonly incorrect pruning. You know better than anyone what is the likely culprit, based on your maintenance habits. However, in most cases, as mentioned, it is simply an issue of pruning too much or at the wrong time of the year which results in the removal of the growth that will produce the flowers that year.
With a Hydrangea, pruning at the wrong time can mean accidentally cutting off the wood on which your flowers are produced from. As a general rule of thumb, many Hydrangeas can go quite some time without pruning, even if they appear dead in the winter. It is best to prune rarely if you want to encourage a better show of flowers.
There are three main types of Hydrangeas:
- Those that produce flowers on the old growth (Hydrangea macrophylla)
- Those that produce flowers on new growth (Panicle Hydrangeas and Smooth Hydrangeas)
- The endless summer variety that produces flowers on both old and new growth
It is also worth noting that climbing Hydrangeas should be pruned after they have finished flowering in the summer.
1. Those that flower on old wood
If yours is part of this group (which is made up from the Hydrangea variety that most people have) and has the big mop head flowers, if you give it a trim, you might actually be cutting off the growth it needs to produce the flowers.
These plants should only be pruned after they have flowered, and really only be trimmed right below where the flower once stood. A common mistake people make is pruning them at the wrong time, and if you prune them in the spring, you may well be removing the stems that are going to produce the flowers that season.
2. Those that flower on new wood
If your Hydrangea is part of the second group, pruning should only take place at the beginning of spring, just before they shoot, because the plants are dormant in the autumn. These Hydrangeas can be cut back hard because they flower on new growth, almost to ground level, and this pruning often encourages bigger blooms.
3. Endless summer varieties
If yours is part of this third group and is an endless summer variety they should be pruned the same as the first group, only after flowering and only right below where a flower once was.
The wrong pruning and your flower production go in the bin (literally).
Too much feed can cause flowering problems
Aside from pruning issues, be aware of how much fertiliser you are using, when you are using it, and whether your particular variety of plant needs it. Actually receiving too much fertiliser can lead to a lack of flowers because it causes the plant to focus on producing foliage instead of flowers.
Make sure the Hydrangea you have planted is spaced about 1.5 metres apart from others so that it has space to grow and flourish. If they are too cramped, they won’t have the space to grow healthily enough to produce their well known stunning flowers.
By following all of these tips and ensuring you prune your variety at the correct time of the season you can bring back the blooms that you once lost.