why does my endless summer hydrangea not bloom
This is the question I hear from frustrated gardeners all over the country. This shrub was supposed to give gardeners in cold regions those same outrageous blue hydrangeas that we love so much on Cape Cod. They are supposed to flower on new growth and be, well, endless right? Hereвs what gardeners in colder regions (zone 5 and below) need to know. Endless Summer does flower on new growth, but most of the flowers are developed on old wood. In late-summer the plant forms the germ of the majority of its flowers for the next year. If you live in an area where the winter temperatures donвt go below 5 degrees Fahrenheit these buds will survive the cold and go on to bloom in mid-summer the following season. But if you live where the temperatures drop to zero or below, those buds are killed by the cold. In zones 4 or 5 gardeners often find dead canes in the spring instead of stems with green buds. Yes, the plant lives through the winter, but the growth comes back from the ground, not the stems where future flowers were already formed. The blooming problem can be further compounded by a short growing season. In colder parts of the country the flowers that are formed later in the fall on new growth might not have time to open before the first hard frost. So if youвre gardening in a cold zone 5 or below itвs possible that your Endless Summer might often be an Endless Exasperation.
Donвt get me wrongвI like this plant. There are many Hydrangeas that flower on both new and old wood, and this is one I frequently recommend to my consultation clients because itвs easy to find. But the shrub is just not the flower machine in Minnesota that it is on Cape Cod. If you want to grow an Endless Summer or one of the other repeat-blooming hydrangeas and you live in a zone 4 or 5, here are some tips for success. Find the warmest micro-climate on your property. This is the place where the snow melts first and the daffodils poke up and bloom before all other narcissus in your gardens. Plant the hydrangea here unless the sun bakes this space in the summer. Hydrangeas appreciate afternoon shade. You can try protecting those stems during the winter by building a cage around the plant out of stakes and chicken wire and filling it with hay or dried leaves. Put a piece of plastic over the top of this structure, but not on the sides. This will help keep the filling dryer. Take the covering off in April or whenever your nighttime temperatures stay more or less above 32. Grow some hydrangeas in pots and bring them into an unheated garage for the winter. Pull the pots into a protected area after the leaves have fallen but before the dirt freezes in the pots. As winter goes on, water them when the soil starts to dry.
Pull the plants outside once the temperatures are reliably above 30 degrees. (Be prepared to pull them back inside if the forecast predicts lower temperatures. )
Only cut out the dead stemsвdon t prune canes that are living back, no matter what you see your neighbors doing. Be sure your plants are getting at least three hours of dead-on sun each day. If you have a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade, that would be ideal. When all else fails, plan a summer trip to Cape Codвhere itвs practically a law that blue hydrangeas be planted in every landscape. Have you ever seen a in full bloom? They are one of the most beautiful garden plants you ll ever see. They make great additions to vases in the house, and come in absolutely beautiful colors. Because they are so beautiful most of the time, you really notice when your hydrangeas won t bloom. It s as if something is completely missing from your garden. A hydrangea not blooming can be frustrating. But usually when hydrangea won t flower, it is because of something simple. These problems can usually be solved pretty quickly. Why Aren t My Hydrangeas Blooming? When your hydrangea won t bloom, it is because of the species of hydrangea you have planted. Some of them grow flowers off of new wood and some of them will grow flowers off of old wood. If your hydrangea won t flower, then you need to figure out if this is the variety you have planted.
Hydrangeas that flower off of new wood usually never cause a problem. In fact, you don t hear people who have this particular type of hydrangea having a problem with hydrangea not blooming. There are other types of hydrangea, however, and these might be the culprit. The most common hydrangea purchased is the Bigleaf hydrangea. It is also a common hydrangea for people to ask, БWhy aren t my hydrangeas blooming? Б This particular species of hydrangea is called Hydrangea macrophilia and they get blue or pink flowers on them. However, they produce a lot of cultivars and these cultivars can die back to the base of the ground in the winter, particularly if you have had a colder than normal winter. Since these hydrangeas bloom on old wood, this creates a problem. If the old wood dies back to the ground, your hydrangea won t bloom when it grows back the following year. This is because it s growing new wood and the new wood doesn t produce flowers on this particular variety. You may also have planted a variety that does not do well in your zone. may help these varieties bloom better in the summer. Another problem when your hydrangea won t flower is that you may have pruned it the year before too far back. A lot of times if these particular hydrangeas are pruned in early summer or late winter, you will have on your hydrangea no flowers to speak of.
This is because, if they are over pruned in summer, they tend to die back farther than they normally would and you will end up having to wait a year for hydrangea blossoms once more because the hydrangea won t flower. If you re having problems because your hydrangea won t bloom, it is best to avoid any time but early spring when you can see where the dead wood is and will not accidentally over prune. So, if you find your hydrangea not blooming, pay attention to first, the type of hydrangea you planted, and second, how far back it died the year before. You might not want to prune it, and if you do prune it, you shouldn t prune it back too far in case it needs old wood to bloom. Finally, if your hydrangeas are not flowering and none of the above apply, you should or think back to the last time you fertilized. Too much nitrogen or a lack of phosphorus in the soil could be the reason. An abundance of nitrogen produces lush green growth, but little to no blooms. is responsible for the flowering and fruiting in most plants, so the addition of a phosphorus-rich fertilizer may be all that is needed to correct this. is also a great way to add phosphorus to the soil. If you follow these rules, you won t be asking Бwhy aren t my hydrangeas bloomingБ any longer.
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