How to Make Hydrangeas Bloom
Q: I have several hydrangeas at our home in Wilmington, NC. Three summers ago, they bloomed beautifully, but last 2 summers I've had 1 or 2 blooms on each. They look very wilted but watering hasn't helped. Any suggestions? Kendra
A: I assume you have the kind of hydrangeas that have either blue or pink flowers. If your plants aren't blooming now, they probably won't do much this summer. So how do you get flowers for next year? Follow these steps:
1. Don't prune them. They'll be making flower buds for next year pretty soon. Pruning now will cut them off. 2. If you like blue flowers, give them an acid-forming azalea-camellia type fertilizer now. Slow-release fertilizer is better (check for this on the bag). Be sure to water it in. 3. Keep your plants well watered. You'll be watering often, but that's what these hydrangeas need. Mulching around them will decrease their need for water. 4. The best lighting situation for hydrangeas is morning sun and light afternoon shade. If yours don't get this, consider moving them to a better spot this fall after the leaves drop.
Good luck, Grumpy