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Hydrangea problem

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by twwright on June 05, 2006 12:08 AM
None of my Hydrangeas will bloom! [tears] Why? They are in a spot with mostly shade but partial sun. They are planted 2 feet from the house in a mostly clay-like soil that has had organic matter added every season. Anyone know what the main needs hydrangea have in order to bloom? Is it too little phosphorus? I have had three of the plants for two springs now and the only time they bloomed was right after I bought them from the nursery. When the blooms faded they never bloomed again. What's up?
by Jiffymouse on June 05, 2006 02:18 AM
are you pruning them? some hydrangeas bloom on "old wood" and some on "new wood" so depending on the type you have, you may be cutting them back a the wrong time. i just don't cut mine back, solves that problem!
by johnCT on June 06, 2006 01:28 AM
What variety are they?

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John - Zone 6
by Rosepetal on June 06, 2006 07:28 AM
Welcome to our forum twwright, its the "bestest" place on the net.... [Big Grin]

I have the same problem with my Annabella hydrangea. I've had it for 2 years now, but it has never bloomed. Hopefully I'll see something this year.

Here is a link I found, thought I'd share with you.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by Squirrel on June 06, 2006 04:41 PM
Thanks for posting that Link, Rosepetal. I needed some info on Hydrangeas, too. I also learned there is a lace capped hydrangea. I have 2 of them. I thought there was something wrong with my bushes because the flowers weren`t opening up all the way. [dunno] [nutz] I was viewing someone`s pix and there it was!!! [clappy]
If you look at the flower, the name makes sense!!! Learn something new everyday here at GH. [Smile] :)Sue

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What goes around comes around, so be nice!lol
by twwright on June 11, 2006 02:51 AM
I have purchased several varieties of Hydrangea in numerous colors. In other words, I don't know what varieties I have, didn't save the tags this time and I usually do. I'm smarter than that but let the plants down this time, I hope they will forgive me. No, I don't cut them back either, thought maybe I should. They stay moist and don't dry out due to the spot they are in which is wet ground. Thus, I bought Hydrangea, "water"gea. ha ha.. Thanks for the help guys and the welcome. I love this site!
by plants 'n pots on June 11, 2006 03:02 AM
One of mine won't bloom either - wanna know why?

[Mad] The #$%* DEER ATE ALL THE TIPS ON IT the other night! [Mad]

This is war!

Sue - I have a blue lacecap hydrangea that I posted pictures of last summer - it was beautiful!

I do cut mine back each year - just a bit, and they "usually" bloom for me, unless the deer get to them first! [Eek!]

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by loz on June 11, 2006 02:01 PM
Oh man Lynne, that's terrible! [Eek!] I'd be so ticked off!

I have 5 hydrangeas and they are pretty big ones......I cute 'em all the way down late fall or early spring. They bloom on new wood. [thumb]

The flowers are just now starting to form up!
by FreedSoul on June 18, 2006 12:20 AM
how was your winter?.... mild?... up here, we had a mild winter... none of my hydras made it to bloom... I have mops and lacecaps that won' t put out a bloom.... my oakleaf is blooming just fine, tho....

the thing with the Macrophyllas is they need winter to be cold enuff, long enuff, for them to go into full dormancy.... mine didn't... and a good hard freeze somewhere in there after the usual mild days, did in the buds....

here's a site that's a favorite of mine.... lots of really good info there on all types of hydras...
by snapdragon on June 21, 2006 01:48 PM
I have no idea what type my hydrangeas are, but they get these beautiful purply-pink blooms on them. The blooms are small but plentiful. I let my roommate hack about a foot off of it last year and we had a fairly mild winter, and it is blooming like a champ! I heard something about iron pellets changing the color - any truth to that? Does anyone know of any other things iron pellets will help?

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by luis_pr on July 05, 2006 10:55 AM
Here are some ideas why your hydrangea is not blooming:

1. Pruning too late

Hydrangea flower buds for next year will begin to develop between August and October. So if you prune in November or early Spring, you would be cutting off next year's blooms. Since it is hard to tell if new buds are developing, it is recommended that any pruning be done a few weeks after blooming starts on varieties that bloom on old wood.

If you have a variety that blooms on new & old wood, like Endless Summer, this should not be an issue.

2. Weather issues

Hydrangeas in northern areas require some type of winter protection in order for the flower buds and/or stems not to freeze. But the danger is not limited to Zone 4/5ers only though.

You could be hit with an early or late freeze. For example, hydrangeas in areas like northern Tennessee will suffer from the tendency of the temperatures to fluctuate wildy in the Fall.

Sudden drops here in Texas could cause damage to the buds if the temperature drops below the plant's temperature requirements. In December of 2005, the temperatures fell down to around 10 degrees or lower in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Because we were also in the middle of a drought, many hydrangeas were weak and the cold weather affected their buds. Crape Myrtles also suffered.

3. Florist hydrangeas, sold thru grocery stores and florists, are weak cultivars meant to be enjoyed inside the house. They are bred to grow in nurseries and to bloom early. As a result, they can easily decline if planted outside. Florist hydrangeas are the ones sold in pots with colorful aluminum foil around Mother's Day and other holidays.

4. Old MACs need pruning every five years or so

After five years or so, the bloomage of some hydrangea Macrophyllas will decline. To rejuvenate the plant, you need to cut 1/3 of the oldest stems to the ground on year one, cut the next third on year two and cut the rest on year three.

5. Go easy on nitrogen rich fertilizers.

Make sure the lawn fertilizer is not falling in the area where the hydrangea is planted. And watch out for chemical fertilizers like Miracle Grow for Azaleas/Camellias/Rhododendron which is 30% nitrogen and whose labels says to re-apply it every 7-14 days.

Hydrangeas are not hungry plants like roses. An application of composted manure or cottonseed meal in April and another in late June is all they need in your area (northern climates should use only one application in May).

6. Take good care of them when they are creating buds.

For hydrangeas that flower on old wood, this means August thru October. It is important that the soil be moist (wet soil promotes fungal problems in the leaves and/or roots), dry soil can kill the buds and/or the plant).

Wilting during the morning hours indicates that the plant is not getting enough water. Wilting in the afternoon during the summer is ok provided the plant recovers by the next morning. Lack of water can greatly reduce flower bud production.

And do not forget to water during the winter months albeit at reduced levels. Our ground does not freeze so their roots stay active during that time. Lack of water during that time could kill your buds.

7. Not enough sun

Some hydrangeas will not bloom if you plant them in full shade. To corect this, you may need to transplant them or figure out a way for them to get a few hours of morning sun or dapped sun.

8. Planted in the wrong zone

Named hydrangea cultivars should have a label that says in what zones they can be planted. For example: if the label says it is good thru Zone 7 and you plant in Zone 6, the plant may prosper but produce no blooms. However, I do not think this applies to you.

Regarding snapdragon's question, iron pellets or products containing iron chelates are only used to correct a condition called iron chlorosis. When you have iron chlorosis, the leaves turn yellow but the leaf's veins stay green. Lowering the soil Ph by adding iron or lowering the soil Ph corrects this problem. Personally, I add liquid products containing iron chelates. Say, something like Green Light Iron And Soil Acidifier.

Regarding the question about color change, be aware that it is much easier to control the color of a hydrangea in a container than in the ground. If you do not evenly apply the chemicals around a plant (or around several plants) then some roots may not absorb as much minerals as others. You basically end up with different levels of acidity and different amounts of minerals in the soil around the plant(s). And yes, that means blooms with different types of blue (or pink/red).

Color intensity is a function of waaay too many factors that we consumers cannot control very well when planting in the ground; things such as the plant variety, plant health, the weather and even the amount of minerals already in the soil.

For example: to get blue in my alkaline soil, I would have to get frequent soil tests (to see how much I have of certain minerals), I would have to acidify my soil & add aluminum if my soil has too little (most people do both by adding aluminum sulfate or you can only acidify by adding sulphur), and I would have to use a low phosphorus/high potassium fertilizer! Easier said than done, hu!

Wholesalers in their nurseries do better than we do but then again, they plant in pots! For us, it is a process that takes years and, unless we are next door neighbors, the process and mineral amounts needed would be different.

Once you get it right, you have to maintain the acidity and mineral levels at the current level year after year by re-applying the stuff in similar amounts again.

I hope that helps,
by fairierose on July 13, 2006 12:37 PM
I am in zone 5b St. Louis MO and if I don't cover them in the winter I don't get blooms in the summer if it gets too cold. I put a frame around the by circling them with stakes, wrap burlap around the stakes and clip the material ends with closepins' clips and I also clip them to the top of the stakes leaving an opening at the top for snow/rain etc. I do this in January and take them down end of March early April. I only do this for the ones that bear flowers on old wood. So far it has worked. Let me know if you it works for you! [kissies]
by sue099 on October 04, 2006 08:12 AM
wow...luis, thats a HUGE amount of info! Thanks!

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Nature is the art of God ~ Thomas Browne,1635
by venus1965 on October 10, 2006 09:24 PM
Annabelle Hydrangea drooping and watering is not helping. Purchased from grocery store in April with 3 others that are doing well. HELP!!!!

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