7 Reasons Why Hydrangeas Not Blooming

Hydrangeas are among the most beautiful blooming plants out there. It’s a huge reason why so many floral shops include them in various setups. And that’s also why so many stores offer them for different holidays throughout the Spring!

But while they’re extremely beautiful, they simply don’t carry the same appeal when they’re not in bloom. And since they’re relatively finicky plants, getting them to bloom year after year can be a challenge.

That’s why we came up with this guide to walk you through everything you need to know to get your hydrangeas to bloom year after year. Not only that, but we’ve highlighted three products that can make your life a lot easier – and get you even more blooms.

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7 Reasons Why Hydrangeas Not Blooming

While hydrangeas might be a beautiful plant, there’s no doubt that they’re a more finicky option. Getting them to bloom year after year can be a challenge, as can narrowing down the reason for their problems in the first place.

Below we’ve highlighted eight potential causes for you to sift through.

Reasons Why Hydrangeas Not Blooming

1. It’s a Potted Gift Plant

Those Mother’s Day potted hydrangeas might make a beautiful present, but they’re not likely to last much longer than that. They’re forced to bloom early, pushed into a cramped pot, and have a ton of extra fertilizers packed into the soil.

They make a great gift, but if you’re looking for a long-term plant then you will want to go to a regular garden store to get your hydrangeas.

2. You’re in the Wrong Climate/Late & Early Frosts

Hydrangeas can’t grow everywhere, even if sellers push them to every market. While they’re not likely to die outright in most climates, you might find that you can’t get them to flower.

They can handle winter temperatures as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit, but if they’re exposed to a frost in the Fall or a late spring frost, you might find that your hydrangeas never flower as they should.

3. Too Much Nitrogen

If you’re using the wrong fertilizer for your hydrangeas, you could be doing more harm than good. Many fertilizers come jam-packed with nitrogen, since that’s what many plants need to thrive. Not hydrangeas though. Too much nitrogen will keep them from blooming, and could even kill the plant.

If you’re wondering what fertilizer is best for hydrangeas, we highly recommend Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Blooms Plant Nutrition Granules.

4. Inadequate Watering

Too much watering and you can drown your plants, but too little and they won’t bloom as they should. Making the matter even more frustrating is the fact that it often comes back to their conditions last year.

So, simply heading out and watering the plant won’t give you any more blooms this season – but it’s necessary if you want more blooms next year.

5. Improper Pruning

Hydrangeas aren’t an easy to plant to prune. For some varieties, it’s best to prune the new wood, for others you should only prune old wood. You need to determine which type of hydrangea you have and prune it properly.

Otherwise, you risk pruning branches that would be giving you beautiful blooms otherwise!

6. Inadequate Sunlight

Too much sunlight will overpower your hydrangea and dry it out, while not enough won’t give your hydrangeas the nutrients they need to thrive. While we’d love to provide you with the exact amount of sunlight recommended for your hydrangeas, again it all depends on your exact variety.

7. Hungry Wildlife

There are few things more frustrating than looking out your window and watching the local wildlife gobble up your flowers. But with hydrangeas, that’s definitely an option. Deer, bunnies, and various other wildlife love to gobble up hydrangeas – and that’ll certainly keep them from blooming!


Hydrangeas Not Blooming: Top Products to Get Your Hydrangeas Blooming Again

Just because hydrangeas are notoriously tricky to get to bloom year after year doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to help them along. Below are the three best hydrangea fertilizers you can use to maximize your chance of a successful bloom!

1. Miracle-Gro Performance Organics – Top Pick

Top Pick
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Blooms Plant Nutrition Granules

A slow-release, organic fertilizer might be just what you need to put your hydrangea woes behind you. This Miracle-Gro product does a great job at fertilizing your hydrangeas for the long haul and is an outstanding choice.

Size: 2.5 pounds

Results In: 7 days

Application Frequency: Every 4 to 6 weeks

Coverage Area: 165 square feet

The last thing you want to do when you’re fertilizing your flowers is potentially hurt the local wildlife. With Miracle-Gros Performance Organics Blooms Plant Nutrition Granules, that isn’t something you need to worry about!

Everything in it is completely natural and organic, which means it’s far better for both your flowers and the surrounding environment! Even better, unlike many products that you need to reapply every week, you only need to spread these granules about once a month.

They feature a slow-release formula that gives you consistent results week after week, and they’re extremely easy to use. All you need to do is spread them out in the flower bed and water thoroughly!

But it is important to note that this product is a little more expensive, especially when you factor in its smaller application area. The less frequent application schedule certainly helps some, but you’re still spending more.

But for the level of results you’re getting, it’s well worth the slightly higher price tag!

Pros

  • 100% organic
  • Less frequent application schedule
  • Outstanding results
  • Easy to use
  • Slow-release results give you consistent blooms

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Smaller coverage area
  • Slightly longer time frame to see results

2. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster – Runner Up

Runner Up
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster

If you're looking to save a little money and still get beautiful blooms, then this is what you want. Sure, you need to apply it every week or so, but it's so easy to do and works so well that it's well worth the effort.

Size: 4 pounds

Results In: 3 to 5 days

Application Frequency: Every 7 to 14 days

Coverage Area: 1,500 square feet

If you’re looking for a more affordable general-purpose fertilizer that can deliver phenomenal results for your hydrangeas, Miracle-Gro’s Water Soluble Bloom Booster is an outstanding choice. No, it’s not organic, but if you’re not in a heavy wildlife area then that’s not a huge deal.

It starts feeding your plants immediately, and you can begin to see results in just a few days. It’s insanely easy to use and has a very large coverage area, but you do need to reapply it about once every week or two.

But since all you need to do is mix in with the water you’re using, it’s not like it’s a huge time commitment. If you’re looking for fast results and don’t want to spend the little extra money for our top choice, then this water-soluble mixture might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Pros

  • Very fast results
  • Wide range of applications
  • More affordable option
  • Gives outstanding results
  • Easy to use
  • Large coverage area

Cons

  • More frequent application schedule
  • Not organic

3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Miracid – Best for Acid Loving Plants

Best for Acid Loving Plants
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Miracid

If you're looking for a product to give you blue hydrangea blooms, this acidic fertilizer is a great 2-for-1 deal. Add in the fact that it's affordably priced and easy to use, and it's a win all around.

Size: 4 pounds

Results In: 3 to 5 days

Application Frequency: Every 7 to 14 days

Coverage Area: 1,500 square feet

Miracle-Gro’s Water Soluble Miracid is another excellent product if you’re looking to get your hydrangeas to bloom. But keep in mind that with this product you likely won’t get the typical white or pink hydrangeas. Instead, your hydrangeas will bloom a blue color. There’s nothing wrong with that, just know what you’re getting.

It’s a very affordable product that’s even easier to use, and the best part is that it starts feeding your plants immediately. It might take a few days to notice results, but that’s perfectly normal.

However, you will need to reapply this fertilizer every seven to fourteen days. Since it’s so easy to use, it’s not a big deal, but it’s something else you’ll need to keep up with. Furthermore, it’s not an organic product. This means you need to be careful with it around wildlife, children, and pets.

Finally, since it’s acidic in nature you also need to be careful with what plants are around your hydrangeas when you’re using it. If you have a packed flower garden with various plants, you need to ensure they can all handle this acidic fertilizer before using it.

Pros

  • Very fast results
  • Easy to use
  • Gives you phenomenal results
  • More affordable option
  • Very large coverage area

Cons

  • More limited applications
  • Not organic
  • More frequent application schedule

Picking Out the Perfect Hydrangeas

Picking Out the Perfect Hydrangeas

There are tons of hydrangea varieties out there, and the most important thing you need to do to get the best blooms is get the right variety for your area. For starters, avoid the frilly packaged plants that come in full bloom. They’re often available around various holidays, but they’re not what you want in your garden.

They make great gifts, but you should be well aware that they’re not going to last. Instead, go for varieties that you can find at local garden stores, or purchase the seeds from a reputable site online.

For warmer climates with tons of sun, some great choices for warmer climates include:

  • Bombshell
  • Limelight
  • Grandiflora
  • Vanilla strawberry

Or course, warm climates aren’t the only ones out there. If you live a little farther north then you need varieties that can handle the colder winter temperatures and still bloom after later frosts.

For cold climates we recommend the following two varieties:

  • Annabelle
  • White dome

While hydrangeas typically do well with a lot of sunlight, we completely understand that you can’t always control the layout of your garden. That’s why we wanted to include at least one variety that does well in a heavily shaded area.

Keep in mind that even this variety needs some direct sunlight, so if your garden doesn’t have access to direct sunlight, then it’s probably best to avoid hydrangeas altogether.

But if you have a heavily shaded garden and want hydrangeas, then Hydrangea petiolaris is what you’re looking for. It’s a climbing variety that can reach up to 50 feet in height, but you can always trim it to more manageable levels.

Of course, if you’re looking to intertwine it around a background like a fence, this gives you plenty of options too.


FAQ

If you still have a few questions about hydrangeas after reading through our guide, you’re not alone. That’s why we took the time to address some of the most frequently asked questions here.

Hydrangeas Bloom FAQ

What Do You Do When Hydrangeas Don’t Bloom?

If your hydrangeas are healthy and simply didn’t bloom, there’s not too much that you need to do. Keep up with the proper pruning and care, and hope for better results next year. Because there are so many different variables, the problem might be as simple as a late frost in the Spring!

Of course, you should double-check your hydrangea variety first, and ensure that you’re doing everything you should to care for it.

Do Coffee Grounds Make Hydrangeas Bloom?

Coffee grounds can absolutely help make hydrangeas bloom! They work as a natural fertilizer, but keep in mind they’re also acidic. This means you likely won’t get the typical pink or white hydrangeas. Instead, your blooms will likely turn blue.

Acidic fertilizers and eggshells can also produce the same results. However, don’t use coffee grounds in tandem with these methods, as too much acid can be harmful to your plants.

Can I Use Miracle Grow on Hydrangeas?

Yes, yes, and yes! There’s a reason all of our top three recommendations are Miracle-Gro products! They all do a phenomenal job at getting your hydrangeas to bloom.

Still, it’s essential that you use the right Miracle-Gro product on your hydrangeas. Miracle-Gro makes a ton of different products, and they don’t all work well with hydrangeas.

Will Baking Soda Make Hydrangeas Pink?

Yes! Baking soda makes the soil more alkaline, and this turns the hydrangeas pink. Still, you need to be careful how much you need to add. Changing the pH levels of the soil is fine if you keep it in acceptable ranges, but if it strays too far from those ranges you can kill the plants.


Final Thoughts

Hydrangeas might be a finicky plant that’s challenging to get consistent blooms from, but there are few plants that offer more visually appealing rewards. So don’t give up on your hydrangeas just yet!

Get the conditions right and give it time. Because so much of these plants’ success relies on last year’s care, keep caring for them isn’t for those that want instantaneous results. The key is persistence and proper care, and we’re confident that you can master it with a bit of help from one of these fertilizers!

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