Saturday, March 24, 2012

Keep those hydrangeas hydrated

Welcome to Beyond The Garden Gate, where I blog about my garden, my table (especially tea), and my life. Hope you'll find something to enjoy and share here.

Is there anything prettier than a hydrangea in full bloom? (Don't you love seeing the photographer's red garden shoe in the picture too? LOL)

But what if the hydrangea doesn't bloom? What might cause that, and how can you as a gardener rectify the situation?

Improper pruning can leave you without blooms. Know your type of hydrangea and prune accordingly.  Some bloom on old wood. For those, don't cut off the older wood until after flowering. Others bloom on new wood. They can be pruned down to just a few inches in height in early spring.*

*Endless Summer cultivars - bloom on old and new wood
Annabelle and Incrediball - bloom on new wood
Oakleaf types - bloom on old wood only
Panniculata types - bloom on new wood

Be sure to water your hydrangeas thoroughly in the fall and again in early spring if rainfall is inadequate. Without proper hydration, the buds will dry up and not bloom.

Proper feeding is essential. You can use compost and/or a general purpose fertilizer (10-10-10 or 16-16-16). On the other hand, some experts recommend a fertilizer with high phosphate (middle number), such as 10-30-10 or 10-52-10. If you add too much nitrogen (first number), you may get all vegetation and no flowers.

Last but not least, another reason for lack of blooms is out of your control...if the buds get nipped by a late freeze, or damaged from a harsh winter, there will be no blooms.

And, just in case you'd like additional information about hydrangeas, click here to read a guest post by Rebecca Hanson.

Hope this is a bloomin' good year for all of you!

Thanks for visiting!




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