Hydrangea – Not Blooming

Q: My purple hydrangea has not bloomed for two years now. It used to be beautiful. Do I need to prune it to the ground or what?

A: Bigleaf hydrangeas were hit with a 1-2-3 flurry of punches during the last three years. Drought did most of the damage. Flower buds did not form unless the shrubs were watered regularly in summer. Then this past January brought eleven degree temperatures, freezing off any buds that formed in 2008. I noticed that my hydrangeas growing in shade were not frozen severely. They bloomed fine this summer. The ones in fuller sun at the edge of a pine tree stand have not bloomed vigorously since 2006. Don’t prune now. I am confident there are lots of bloom buds present for next summer. Wait until July of next year to shape them up.

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