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Hydrangeas are known for their rich blooms in many different shades, which are presented in the garden from June to the end of September. The best thing for the gardener is when your own hydrangeas are blooming in bright colors and beautify the garden, balcony or terrace. However, it can happen that the hydrangea does not bloom. There are numerous causes for this problem and corresponding solutions to get the beautiful Hydrangeaceae blooming again.

causes and measures

Hydrangeas are known to be robust plants, but numerous care mistakes can significantly limit the joy of flowering. These range from the wrong place in the garden to unfavorable pruning times and soil conditions. The advantage: errors in care can be easily corrected and the hydrangea will bloom at the latest in the next season. The following paragraphs deal with the possible causes of a hydrangea that has not bloomed and the necessary treatment.

Wrong cutting measures

One of the most common reasons your hydrangea doesn't bloom is a heavy pruning in the spring. That only applies plate hydrangeas (bot. Hydrangea serrata) and garden hydrangeas (bot. Hydrangea macrophylla). These form their flower buds in autumn and carry them in the shoots until the new year. They sit directly under the old flowers and are therefore protected from the winter cold. If you cut back the hydrangea too much in spring, you will remove the flower buds, which will ruin a bloom that year. For this reason, you should only cut as follows in the spring:

  • only remove old flowers
  • only cut to the next bud
  • use sharp, clean scissors for this

Be absolutely careful not to damage the new buds, as a wrong pruning will irrevocably damage them. Therefore, proceed carefully and, above all, carefully.

plate hydrangea

tip: You will not encounter this problem if you plant one of the hydrangea varieties 'Endless Summer' or 'Forever and Ever'. These are the only garden hydrangeas that can be cut back heavily after winter and then form new flower buds in the same year.

Too shady location

For a hydrangea to bloom, you need an ideal location. This is especially important for specimens that freshly planted were and still have to get used to the location. The plants tolerate partial shade without any problems, but should only remain in the shade for a short time. A bright, sunny place with protection from the midday sun should be chosen so that it can get enough light but does not burn. Replant the plant accordingly or look for a new place for specimens in the bucket.

tip: A semi-shady place with sufficient light also attracts pollinating insects. Since they also prefer warm and bright places, they help to ensure a corresponding abundance of flowers.

Lack of winter protection

Although the hydrangea has good winter protection with its withered inflorescences, the winter can become too much for it without appropriate measures. The reason for this is again the buds of the garden and plate hydrangeas, which freeze to death over the winter without protection. The following hydrangeas, on the other hand, do not form any buds in autumn, which requires little or no winter protection:

  • Panicle hydrangeas (bot. Hydrangea paniculata)
  • Forest hydrangeas (bot. Hydrangea arborescens)
  • Oak-leaved hydrangea (bot. Hydrangea quercifolia)

Protect the buds of your plate and garden hydrangeas from winter damage with the following overwintering measures:

  • Twigs or mulch made from leaves is used as winter protection
  • spread it directly on the floor
  • Wrap the hydrangea in garden fleece on colder days
  • Remove garden fleece in frost-free periods
  • Place potted plants in a light, sheltered spot
  • Cold house, staircase, conservatory recommended
  • Cover the pot with garden fleece

The hydrangeas can now recover and produce numerous blooms next summer.

tip: You have to be particularly careful with late frosts in spring, as these can severely damage the leaves and bracts of the hydrangea buds. In order for the buds to survive until summer, you should always keep an eye on the weather forecast in spring and wrap the plant in garden fleece on frosty days.

nutrient deficiency

If the soil is unsuitable for the plants, they can only absorb insufficient nutrients that are important for flowering. A common problem that many people overlook is trees. If hydrangeas are planted near larger trees, there will be a shortage as they steal the nutrients from the hydrangeas. Therefore, choose a location that is a little away from trees. If you cannot find a suitable place, you should increase the fertilizer additions a little to compensate for the deficit.

tip: Avoid frequently transplanting the resident plant. They often react to this with a flowering weakness.

First year

If you've just planted your hydrangeas, don't worry if they don't bloom over the summer. Hydrangeas need some time for the flowers to develop and only present them in the year after planting, as they first have to get used to their new place in the garden. If you implement the care effectively over the first year, the hydrangea will bloom in the next season and you can look forward to the flowers. Here it is simply: wait.


One of the biggest mistakes in grooming is dryness. Many hydrangea owners overlook this, as the plants are quite robust and only draw attention to the fact that they need water after a while. From spring to autumn this is not a problem as you can use the soil or the plant's substrate as a guide. In winter, however, you must take extra care to protect your hydrangeas from drying out. Drought damage over the winter can take a toll on plants, leaving little chance of flowering the following summer. The following steps will help you:

1. Provide specimens in buckets or pots with sufficient irrigation water over the winter. Regularly check potted plants that are in winter quarters for dry substrate. Use the finger test for this and make sure never to leave the hydrangeas bone dry for more than two days.

2. Bedding plants also need watering when winters are sunny and very cold but dry. On frost-free days, check the soil and water accordingly. Never water in frost, otherwise frost damage will result from the freezing water.

3. Pay attention to both variants waterlogging. This can quickly lead to the death of the plant due to root rot.

Incorrect fertilizer additions

In addition to the lack of nutrients mentioned above, it is possible that your hydrangeas will not flower because the nitrogen and phosphate concentration is too one-sided. The phosphate in particular is important for flowering. In general, there is enough phosphate in garden soil, but many people fertilize hydrangeas with horn shavings. These contain high amounts of nitrogen, which can lead to a lack of phosphorus over a long period of time. Therefore, you should only supply the plant with one of the following fertilizers to stimulate flowering:

  • hydrangea fertilizer
  • azalea fertilizer
  • Rhododendron Fertilizer
  • high-quality bloom fertilizer
  • cattle manure

You can recognize a phosphate deficiency by the condition of the hydrangea shoots. If these grow extremely vigorously and act like a trunk, the plant is receiving too much nitrogen.

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