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Here’s Why Your Hydrangeas Aren’t Blooming

Hydrangea struggling to bloom.

Hydrangeas are a beloved addition to any garden thanks to their voluminous blooms and vibrant colors. However, you may find yourself disappointed when your hydrangeas fail to produce those stunning blossoms you were hoping for.

One of the common culprits behind a hydrangea not flowering is over-fertilization. Your watering routine and the amount of sunlight a hydrangea gets also play a role.


A bush of hydrangeas blooming in blue, pink, and purple.

Yes, you heard that right. Too much of a good thing like fertilizer can be detrimental to your hydrangea blooms. While fertilization is a helpful part of hydrangea care since it provides them with the nutrients they need to thrive, it’s essential to fertilize correctly.

Using too much fertilizer can have unintended consequences on a hydrangea’s blooms. When you over-fertilize your hydrangeas, this easily leads to an imbalance in the soil which hinders desired growth. It can lead to hydrangeas not blooming.

Endless Summer Original Hydrangea

You can never have too many hydrangea plants in your yard.

Most fertilizers contain large amounts of nitrogen. In healthy doses, nitrogen promotes lush, happy, fast-growing plants. While this benefits foliage, too much of it can be counterproductive for flowering plants like hydrangeas since they may grow more foliage than blooms.

Over-fertilization can lead to more severe problems than simply a hydrangeas not flowering. You can end up causing “fertilizer burn,” which is a potentially detrimental result of excess fertilizer. Fertilizer burn dries out the roots of a plant and even damages its foliage, “burning” both the leaves and roots. It can even kill a plant.


A bush of pink hydrangeas bloom near a sidewalk.

If you want your hydrangeas to bloom properly, you want to make sure they’re getting the right amount of sun for their species. Remember that all hydrangea varieties thrive under slightly different circumstances.

While some hydrangea varieties can bloom in the shade, other hydrangeas enjoy full sun.

Take some time to determine what type of hydrangea you have in your yard. If it’s getting too much sun or not enough for it’s type, you may need to make some garden adjustments to get your plant blooming.


A woman waters her potted hydrangea plant.

Hydrangeas are known to be water lovers. They enjoy staying moist and require plenty of water to thrive. Make sure you water your hydrangeas on a regular schedule so they don’t dry out.

Depending on where your hydrangea plant is located in your garden, it may require more or less water. For example, if your hydrangea gets a lot of sunlight, it may need extra water to prevent dehydration. Shade-loving varieties still require water, but moisture will evaporate more slowly in the shade.

Getting your hydrangea watering routine down will help you ensure your plant blooms and stays healthy.

1 Gallon Quick Fire Fab Panicle Hydrangea (Paniculata) Live Plant

Panicle hydrangeas are a great choice if you want a sun-loving bloom.

Proper Hydrangea Care

White panicle hydrangeas in a garden.

The key to getting your hydrangeas to bloom abundantly is finding the right balance in fertilization, sun, and water. The amount of water and sun they need depend on the species, but fertilization is a little more standard.

Most hydrangeas varieties do well with being fertilized once or twice per summer. Keep in mind that it’s better to have too little fertilizer than too much for your hydrangeas…otherwise, you’ll end up with your hydrangeas not blooming.

The worst thing that can happen if you don’t apply enough fertilizer is that your hydrangea will grow slowly. On the other hand, if you apply too much fertilizer, your plant may not bloom…and it may die if it suffers from severe fertilizer burn.

gonicc 8 Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears

Every hydrangea parent hoping for a lot of blooms needs a quality set of pruning sheers.

When fertilizing your hydrangeas, opt for a balanced fertilizer. Ideally, you should apply the fertilizer in spring before new growth begins to ensure optimal flower bud development. Avoid applying fertilizer too late in the summer or fall, or else you risk new growth freezing in cold weather.

Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging to avoid over-application. More fertilizer does not mean more blooms or a healthier, stronger plant. In many cases, it can have the opposite effect.

Remember that while fertilizing your hydrangeas is crucial for their growth and development, it’s essential to do it in moderation and with consideration for their needs. With proper hydrangea care, you can encourage spectacular blooms that you will enjoy season after season.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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