Nearly nothing is as showy as a hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) in full bloom as far as blooming shrubs go. The bushes’ enormous clusters of pink, white, or baby blue blooms and thick foliage make them highly desired. Hydrangeas will flourish, thrive, and last if they are given the proper care. Failure to thrive or even death of hydrangeas is typically caused by one or more unfavorable environmental or cultural factors, many of which may be remedied.
According to Missouri Botanical Garden, shrubs are generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on the species.
Problems with hydrangeas, such their inability to grow or bloom, may be caused by unfavorable weather conditions like frost or too much sun, or they may not be receiving enough water. They could potentially be harmed by ineffective pruning.
How can I promote the growth of my hydrangeas?
Although the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers seem delicate, little careful care is actually needed for them. Everything you need to know about caring for hydrangeas is provided in these recommendations.
- Over the course of the growing season, water at a rate of 1 inch per week. To promote root growth, deeply water three times each week. All varieties of hydrangeas benefit from constant moisture, but bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas need more water. To water thoroughly while keeping moisture off the flowers and leaves, use a soaker hose. Hydrangeas won’t wilt as much if they are watered early in the day on hot days.
- To keep the soil around your hydrangeas cool and moist, add mulch. Over time, an organic mulch decomposes, supplying nutrients and enhancing soil texture.
- Apply fertilizer according to the type of hydrangeas you have. Every variety has varied requirements and will profit from applying fertilizer at various times. A soil test is the most effective tool for determining your fertility requirements.
- In March, May, and June, bigleaf hydrangeas require numerous mild fertilizer applications.
- Two applications in April and June work best for oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas.
- The only time smooth hydrangea plants require fertilizing is in the late winter.
- By selecting cultivars with resistant characteristics, you can avoid pests and diseases. Hydrangeas can have leaf spots, bight, wilt, and powdery mildew. Although they are uncommon on hydrangeas, pests might arise when the plants are under stress. Aphids, leaf tiers, and red spider mites are examples of potential pests. Your best line of defense is to properly care for hydrangeas.
Why is the growth of my hydrangea so slow?
Hydrangeas are thirsty plants in all of their varieties. These plants need a lot of water, especially when they are just starting out in your garden or plant container.
One of the most frequent causes of this issue with hydrangeas is a lack of water, which can result in stunted growth in your plant. As most people are unaware of how much water these plants require to flourish and grow properly, underwatering your hydrangeas is simple to undertake.
If your hydrangeas’ soil dries out in between waterings, this could interfere with the growth of your plant and prevent your hydrangeas from blooming. Hydrangeas like their soil to be continually moist.
If you have hydrangeas, you should water them according to their type and the environment they are kept in. If you have a bigleaf kind of hydrangea and live in a dry, hot area, for instance, you will need to water your hydrangea every other day to keep it from drying out.
To grow in your care, hydrangeas require at least two inches of water every week. Therefore, you will need to water your hydrangeas more frequently if you leave them outside and there isn’t much rain.
A rain gauge can help you monitor the amount of rain your Hydrangeas are receiving and how much additional watering is necessary.
How can you assist a hydrangea in need?
A hydrangea’s roots can be burned if too much fertilizer is used, which will likely result in the plant dying, turning brown, and drooping.
As such, hydrangeas are not heavy feeders and do not require annual feeding in the same manner as roses do, and doing so can actually be detrimental.
Hydrangeas frequently develop and flower to their full potential if they are planted in healthy soil or the soil has been modified with compost prior to planting.
The hydrangea should flourish if a 1-inch-thick layer of mulch is applied around it to assist retain moisture and supply nutrients to the soil (compost and leaf mould are ideal options).
Only in the following circumstances should fertilizer be used:
- Planting the hydrangea in sandy soil (which is nutrient poor).
- The hydrangea is in a pot or other container where the roots have used up all the nutrients in the soil.
In these two situations, it is recommended to use an all-purpose fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) that is applied once in the spring and is generally well-balanced.
The roots of your hydrangea can be burned by well-rotted manure, especially if it is added to the soil after planting. However, if the manure is made from poultry manure, it may contain a lot of nitrogen.
To prevent issues, I advise putting compost to the soil as a soil amendment (fresh manure is particularly harmful, always allow it to rot for a year or so before using manure on your garden).
If your hydrangea is exhibiting indications of stress as a result of being recently planted in soil that has been altered with manure, move it to a location with soil and compost, and it should recover.
Reduce the amount of fertilizer used and remove any discolored leaves or blossoms. To assist the hydrangea recover, thoroughly water it in an effort to dilute the soil’s water-soluble nitrogen.
- Most frequently, hydrangea deaths are caused by the soil’s lack of moisture. Because they need their soil to be continually moist, hydrangeas will droop or even die in a dry environment.
- Drought, transplant shock, frost damage, and too much sun can all cause hydrangeas to perish.
- If the pot base doesn’t have drainage holes, potted hydrangeas may succumb to root rot. Small containers may dry out too rapidly and limit root expansion.
- Water hydrangeas liberally, cover them with compost mulch, and keep them out of the sun and wind to help them recover. To encourage healthy growth, remove any growth that has been sunburned or damaged by frost.
Many customers ask why their hydrangeas aren’t blooming. The primary reasons hydrangeas don’t bloom are incorrect pruning, bud damage due to winter and/or early spring weather, location and too much fertilizer.
There are hydrangea kinds that bloom on either fresh or old wood, or even both. Both new and old wood are the growth of the following year (spring), respectively.
- Consider that this year, you bought a Nikko Blue Hydrangea. For the next year, Nikko’s produce blooms in the fall. Your Nikko is therefore creating blooms this fall that will blossom in the spring.
- Therefore, you wouldn’t want to completely prune your Nikko Blue Hydrangea this fall while you are pruning your perennials. Pruning the Nikko Blue Hydrangea this fall would effectively mean cutting off your hydrangea flowers for the upcoming spring.
- The idea behind Endless Summer, a hydrangea variety that blooms on both old and new wood, is that the plant will set blooms this fall to blossom not only in the spring of the following year, but will also keep producing blooms in the spring of the following year to extend the blossoms into the summer.
- Once more, pruning your Endless Summer hydrangea in the fall would mean removing some of the flowers that would blossom in the spring.
The hydrangea’s plant tag will indicate whether it blooms on fresh wood, old wood, or both. It is typically preferable to wait until spring to prune your hydrangeas. As the plant grows, you’ll see stems that are fragile when bent and lack any leaves. Since these stems are dead and won’t produce any flowers, they should be clipped close to the plant’s base.
The second reason why your hydrangeas aren’t blooming is probably the weather. Buds of hydrangeas are extremely susceptible to cold. Therefore, it is a good idea to wrap your hydrangea for the winter if it is an old wood hydrangea. Keep in mind that old wood hydrangeas establish their blooms for the following spring in the fall. Therefore, you won’t have blossoms in the spring if the fall-produced buds are frozen in the winter.
You can wrap anything with regular burlap. Burlap should be wrapped around the plant and filled with mulch or leaves after the first hard frost and after the hydrangea’s leaves have dropped. In order for the buds to survive the winter and sprout the following spring, the plant receives insulation from this. Never wrap your hydrangeas in plastic. When warmer winter days arrive, the plant cannot breathe since plastic, unlike burlap, doesn’t breathe. As a result, the plant can heated to such high temperatures that it cooks within the plastic and perishes.
The second most frequent weather-related cause hydrangeas do not blossom is late spring killing frosts. We saw really chilly temperatures in April both this year and last year after beautiful spring days. When springtime temperatures drop below freezing, hydrangeas need to be covered with an old beach towel or sheet. Because of the temperature dip, there won’t be any blossoms.
The majority of hydrangeas require at least 3 to 4 hours of light per day to bloom. The best light is in the early morning, midday light is acceptable if it is dabbled light rather than beating sun, and afternoon sun is typically too hot. Check the plant label, though. Newer hydrangea cultivars are being created that can withstand more sun exposure time and sun intensity. A hydrangea in full sun will require much more watering than one in diffused light, so keep that in mind.
High nitrogen fertilizer should not be used to feed hydrangeas. Nitrogen is indicated by the first number on the fertilizer ratio. (The ratio stands for N, P, and K) For healthy leaves and general good growth, some nitrogen (N) is required; however, a ratio of 8-16-6 or any similar combination with a higher middle or phosphorus (P) value is preferred. The growth of roots and shoots is encouraged by phosphorus, which improves the blooming process.
Potash (K), the third element’s last quantity and the lowest ratio, is for plant hardiness. Because hydrangeas prefer acidic soil, they can be fertilized with fertilizers designed for such plants. Hydrangeas only require fertilizing twice a year, once in early spring and once in mid-summer. To avoid root burn, make sure the soil is always moist before applying a fertilizer.
Is Miracle Gro effective for hydrangeas?
There’s no need to spend a bundle on plant food. This cost-effective alternative has a 15-30-15 N-P-K composition that encourages more flowers per shrub and colorful flower heads. Including hydrangeas, this all-purpose blossom enhancer can be applied to a large selection of permanent and annual blooming plants.
It offers a variety of minerals, such as iron, copper, and boron, to complement typical dietary deficits. For the biggest, brightest blooms and healthiest plants, the water-soluble formulation should be applied every 7 to 10 days throughout the growing season.
- Water-soluble fertilizer, type
- Ratio of NPK: 15-30-15
- Approximately 1.5 pounds
- encourages most flowers to bloom more
- Easily combines in a watering can
- increases some plants’ size
- Must be diluted properly and applied regularly
Why haven’t my hydrangeas started to leaf?
I guess I’m getting a little late. However, I won’t worry just yet. The plant may produce stems from the crown or base if the stems die off and do not leaf out. Wait a little longer; it appears to be undecided as to whether to leaf out or produce new stems.
Just keep giving it attention and watch what happens. They all turn green at erroneous times thanks to wholesalers, which could cause confusion. This response is occasionally typical following their first winter.
However, depending on the winter, it should begin to leaf out in Atlanta between March and mid-April. For me in ATL, mopheads opened their leaves first, followed by oakleaves, who would do so earlier than paniculatas like VS. Since there weren’t many paniculatas in the region, I would only sometimes see them turn leaves.
How long does a hydrangea take to reach its maximum size?
I’ll address some of the most typical queries about hydrangea plant care in this section. If you can’t find your response here, post it in the comments section and I’ll respond as soon as possible.
Are hydrangeas easy to care for?
Hydrangeas are indeed quite simple to maintain when given the proper growing conditions. They are resilient plants that require little maintenance and will flourish for many years.
How big do hydrangeas grow?
According to the variety. Dwarf species can grow to only a few feet tall, while larger ones can grow up to 15 feet tall. Always look at the plant tag to see the precise size that your chosen hydrangea will reach.
Can hydrangeas tolerate full sun?
In colder climes, certain hydrangeas may be able to endure a placement in full sun. To achieve the greatest results, it’s better to put them where they will receive some partial shade.
How long does it take for a hydrangea to grow to full size?
Hydrangeas take between two and four years to attain their maximum size, despite the fact that they are fast-growing shrubs. Some people mature more quickly than others.
Hydrangeas are easy to grow and are tolerant of almost any climate. The nicest aspect is that you can have a wide variety of those big, beautiful blooms all summer long because there are so many different species. Your hydrangeas will flourish for many years to come with the right care.
How come my hydrangeas are so tiny?
The most frequent cause of tiny hydrangea blossoms is improper maintenance. Make sure your hydrangeas are receiving the proper quantity of fertilizer, sunlight, and water. In both of these situations, too little or too much water might result in plants not blooming at all or in flowers that are stunted. Continue reading to learn how to provide hydrangeas the ideal conditions for water, sunlight, and fertilizer.
Even with the best care, some varieties of hydrangeas have smaller bloom clusters than others by nature. Mophead and Lacecap bigleaf hydrangeas typically produce the largest blooms. Although some Lacecap kinds can also produce enormous flowers, Mophead varieties often yield the biggest blooms.
Mountain hydrangeas often have smaller blooms, but despite this, they are more cold-hardy, making them a wonderful choice for people who live in cold climes.
No matter how meticulously you take care of it, expecting a Mountain Hydrangea to look like a Mophead Hydrangea is not practical. As long as you can provide the plant with the right conditions, choosing a variety of mophead hydrangeas might fulfill your desire for enormous pom-pom blossoms.