Q: We have two very large hydrangeas that are lush and healthy. But we haven’t had many blooms for the last couple of years. What can you suggest to increase blooming? (written in summer of 2015)
A: The top 3 – 5 buds on a bigleaf hydrangea are the ones that send out blooming shoots. They were likely frozen in the winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, so there were few blooms on many mophead and lacecap hydrangeas for the past couple of years.
Folks who grow hydrangeas in protected locations didn’t have much freeze damage so their plants have bloomed normally this year and last. Try a light fertilizer application now (July), water appropriately for the weather, and we’ll see what happens next year.