Hydrangea macrophylla, or Mophead Hydrangea, are the stalwart showstoppers of the summer garden. Nowadays you’ll find them in pink, blue, white, lavender, and even lime green! One of our favorites is Endless Summer, which keeps popping out blooms all through the sultry days of July and August.
But what if your hydrangea is apparently a dud? There are a couple of possible reasons your macrophylla might be holding out on you.
One of the most common reasons we see mopheads refuse to bloom is because a well meaning gardener pruned them incorrectly. We know how it goes: you couldn’t stand looking at those bare stalks this past winter and so you cut them sometime between November & June. The thing is, Macrophylla bud and bloom on that old growth, and if you snipped them off or damaged the ends of the stalks you may have also nixed all the flowers for the year.
Just hold out til early summer next year and you’ll see them come back.
Another reason for the lack of blooms is climate. Mother Nature decided to be a minx this year, and sent us a late Spring freeze that nipped all those emerging buds right back. Remember that bizarrely mild “Winter” we had? This was followed by a late freeze that hit just as all the buds were emerging. It was pretty devastating for most of the early Spring buds and bloomers (you may recall that the forsythia and cherry blossoms took a hit, too), and in the case of our dear Hydrangea the fragile new growth on those old stalks were zapped. You’ll notice that new growth is coming in from the base of the plant. They’ll be back to full glory in a year or so, with some kinder weather and TLC. In the meantime break the rule in #1 and go ahead and trim back any old stalks that haven’t budded by now. Here’s how.