Hydrangeas won't bloom

Hollis, NH

I have been researching this for a few years and can't solve why my hydrangeas won't bloom.
- I have tried not pruning - didn't work
- I have tried not pruning and protecting over winter with leaves surrounded by burlap - pics attached show this doesn't seem to have worked.

Pics attached are this year and again, I see no blooms. The first two are unidentified but the third, which is a row of three Teller Blue macrophylla. I am thinking of trying fertilizer just because I haven't done it yet.

Any ideas anyone?
thanks!
Laura

Thumbnail by Lauranh Thumbnail by Lauranh Thumbnail by Lauranh
Thomaston, CT

This is an ongoing problem for me as well....even those hydrangeas blooming on new wood like Endless Summer, do not put forth blooms if the conditions aren't right....last year, I had one bloom on Endless Summer....this year it has many blooms....don't ask me why because both winters were very cold & snowy! My Dad always seemed to have success with the burlap & leaves.....On the other hand, I read a book on hydrangeas at my niece's house in Pittsford NY ....She's a zone warmer because of Lake Ontario, & this book was written by a hydrangea hybridizer in her area. He suggested that ALL hydrangeas should be kept in pots in an unheated garage over the winter in any zones colder than 7....well, that's OK if you want small ones.....I have really large ones that would have to be seriously pruned & divided for that to happen....I guess you are supposed to sink the pot into the soil come spring, & dig it out in the fall....too much work! I do fertilize my bushes, but again, it depends on the weather....I think! Hope this helps.

Riverhead, NY

Hi Laura,
It looks to me like you've got mop heads which bloom on old wood. If so, cutting them back reinvigorated the bottom growth which has got them fuller looking. My suggestion is to leave them alone this year, and then mulch heavily around them this fall. The last two winters were hard on our hydrangeas, but they'll make a rebound. After quite the cut-back two years ago, my old mop head is just throwing out a few blooms this year, but it's better than it was. Warmer soil is definitely a main issue, but fertilizer early post-bloom is also a fine idea.

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Great advice here. My lazy gardener solution is if a plant does not perform after all these efforts fail, and after patience has worn thin, the plant is moved or chopped down. I think mopheads are rather temperamental, but go figure, Mousme which has been lackluster for about three years since i planted it, and drastically chopped a year ago, is blooming its many heads off. Now it is too close to the other shrubs and will have to be moved anyway. Then it will probably sulk for another three or four years.

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