One of the most common questions that we are asked by visitors to the farm is ‘Why is my Hydrangea not blooming?’ It’s a fair enough question – I work with plants every day and I am still learning – Hydrangeas used to be so easy! 10 years ago there were only a few varieties, but in the past few years, plant breeders have been busy and we now have many different stunning varieties of hydrangea, each with slightly different care requirements.
What type of hydrangea are you growing?
The first step to answering this common dilemma is to identify the type of hydrangea that you are growing. Once you have determined this, you can give it the correct conditions for flowering. I was at a Proven Winners conference last fall and our attention was drawn to a fabulous resource that Proven Winners has compiled. Check out this infographic for answers to your Hydrangea questions.
- There are six main types of hydrangeas commonly grown in North American gardens.
- There are about 49 species of hydrangeas. Four species are native to North America, including smooth hydrangea and oakleaf hydrangea.
- Hydrangeas are notoriously water-needy, but the “hydra” part of their name actually refers to the seed capsules’ resemblance to ancient Greek water-carrying vessels.
Tips for Hydrangea Success
- Moist but well-drained soil (hydrangeas will not tolerate wet feet – ever!)
- Some sun each day. Most people think of hydrangeas as shade plants, but they look and flower best with at least four hours of sun, ideally in the morning. Panicle hydrangeas are the most sun tolerant, and
can take full sun in northern climates.
- Plenty of water, especially as they are getting established. Hydrangeas have shallow roots, so they dry out quickly. A two to three inch layer of shredded bark mulch is a useful addition to any hydrangea planting.