The hydrangea species covers a wide variety of hydrangea plants and cultivars. Bigleaf hydrangeas (h. macrophylla), oakleaf hydrangeas (h. quercifolia) and panicle hydrangea (h. paniculata) are some of the most common in the United States. While they differ in some ways, for the most part, their growing conditions are the same.
A hydrangea that doesn’t bloom may be planted in the wrong location. If a hydrangea receives too much shade during the day and not enough sun, it will not produce full blooms. Move the hydrangea to an area where it can receive bright, dappled shade all day or full sun in the morning.
Bad weather is another cause of poor blooming of hydrangeas. Late spring freezes can ruin emerging buds. Unusually warm fall weather after a cold period can shock a hydrangea by interrupting its dormancy cycle. Protect your hydrangeas from late spring freezes and bad winter weather by insulating it with sheets, blankets, or oak leaves and pine straw.
Improper pruning is a common reason hydrangeas don’t bloom. Many people think that they need to prune their hydrangea down to the ground in the fall. This is not the case, since most hydrangeas bloom on the previous year’s growth, setting their buds in the fall. Pruning, therefore, removes all the future spring’s buds. Some hydrangeas, often called everlasting hydrangeas, can be pruned and still bloom, but this is a specific cultivar of hydrangea. If your hydrangea doesn’t bloom, don’t prune it this fall, and see if you get colorful flowers in the spring.