There are several types of hydrangeas and they all make great additions to your garden with their beautiful summer and spring blooms. But without the right soil, sunlight, and water, they may not bloom the way you want them to. In this guide, we show you several tips for making hydrangeas bloom.
How to Make Hydrangeas Bloom
Hydrangea plants can act strangely, but if the right factors are taken into account and care is applied, hydrangeas will thrive. To make hydrangeas bloom, here are several tips to understand why and how to fix it.
1. Adequate sunshine
For hydrangeas to bloom optimally, you should place them in areas where they receive four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. Above all, choose places that receive this sunlight during the morning hours.
2. Plant hydrangeas away from tall trees.
Large trees make growing hydrangeas more difficult due to the large shade they create. In addition, the trees consume a lot of water from the environment, which deprives the hydrangeas of much-needed hydration.
You can place them in the shady edges of trees or prepare a secluded spot in the garden.
If you’re creating a larger garden, you can pair hydrangeas with neighboring plants that won’t suppress them. Try choosing other plants that bloom at the same times of the year.
3. Choose fertile, well-drained soil
Before deciding on the right soil for your hydrangeas, you need to study the area.
Begin by digging a 12 x 12 inch hole and filling the area with water. If the water drains out in five to fifteen minutes, this is an excellent spot for hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas tend to drink a lot of water, but too much will prevent them from blooming because their roots will rot.
Organic compost will prevent your hydrangea from becoming waterlogged and will also facilitate faster drainage. You can also combine the soil with peat moss after digging up the hydrangea. Watch: How to make compost at home, guide for beginners.
4. Provide adequate watering
You should water your hydrangea at least once a week, especially during the growing season. If you want to allow for optimal root growth, it is best to water your hydrangeas thoroughly three times a week.
Remember to always water early in the morning or late in the afternoon, if you water your hydrangea during the day when the sun is directly on the plant, you can cause stress on the plant and this will affect flowering .
If the leaves begin to fall and wilt, especially in the heat of the day, this is a sign that they are not getting the amount of water they want.
5. Pruning issues
Pruning is one of the biggest contributors to lack of flowers. If you prune anytime from fall to late spring, you may be cutting off old wood shoots that would have blossomed.
So when exactly should you prune to avoid this problem? Do this in the summer, after the flowers have faded but before fall arrives. This leaves a bit of room to prune the plant if you want it to be showy in the spring.
There is one exception to this: you must prune dead branches in the spring, to the point of live growth. Deadwood is dry, cracks when bent, and has no visible new growth.
You can also remove the flowers after they have faded, or simply leave them on the plant.
6. Harsh winters
If you have a particularly harsh winter, you may want to provide some protection.
This is because the buds that will become flowers form on old wood starting in the fall, but if there is a freezing winter, it can kill these developing buds. Any temperature below 15°C below zero can be a problem.
To protect plants in winter, wrap them in several layers of burlap and secure the material with a bit of twine. You can leave them covered all winter or protect them only during cold snaps. Remove the burlap once the low air temperatures are steady at 1°C or more.
7. Excess Nitrogen
Any flowering plant that receives too much nitrogen fertilizer may devote too much energy to growing its foliage, to the detriment of its flowers.
Nitrogen is one of the main nutrients plants need to survive. They use it to form new leaves and maintain existing foliage.
Phosphorus, another of the main necessary nutrients, is used by plants to create new roots, seeds, fruits and flowers.
If hydrangeas are fed more nitrogen than potassium, they may not flower and instead produce more foliage and larger leaves.
If you’re not sure if nitrogen is the problem, have your soil tested.
I think everyone should do this once a year whether or not you see any problems, but a soil test will tell you for sure if nitrogen is causing your flowering issues.
The solution is to use a slow-release fertilizer with a higher amount of phosphorus than nitrogen. Look for a product labeled to promote flowering.
8. Monitor and check soil pH level
pH levels can have a substantial impact on the flowering success of hydrangeas. You should always aim for a pH level between 5 and 8. But if the pH is no lower than 3 and no higher than 10, it won’t prevent your hydrangeas from blooming.
You can find a test kit at a home supply store for a good price. Once you purchase it, you can mix soil and water sample for a test.
9. New plants do not flower
If you’ve just planted a new plant and don’t see it bloom the first or second year, don’t worry.
New plants tend to focus their energy on establishing roots and developing healthy foliage before attempting to reproduce, i.e. make flowers.
It may also be interesting to read: How to propagate, grow hydrangeas from cuttings (stems) and their care.-
If so, give your plants time and be sure to provide them with the food and water they need to support their efforts.
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