I planted 2 Endless Summer hydrangeas and they bloomed beautifully. Over the next 2 years, I planted 4 more in a row next to the 2 originals, and they bloomed well. Last summer, however, the first two (which are 3 times the size of the last two) had beautiful, healthy foliage but absolutely no blooms. There were a couple of buds just forming in late August. Any suggestions to get the originals to bloom again this summer?
Endless Summer hydrangea (H. macrophylla) is a remontant (everblooming) variety. There is the initial late spring flush followed by sporadic blooming through the growing season. It blooms on both old and new wood growth. Wonderful attributes, if managed properly. In the North, these hydrangeas like full morning sun and afternoon shade from heat. Make sure the plants are getting about 5 to 6 hours of sun. Check that a tree or outbuilding isn’t shading them more than necessary.
Lack of bloom and robust foliage can indicate too much water and too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Check your watering practices. Water thoroughly but less frequently. They like rich, moist soil, but not saturated soil. A quality, slow-release granular fertilizer applied once in spring or early summer should suffice for these acid-lovers.
Be careful when and how much you prune. Don’t cut them back to the ground like the old-fashioned ‘Annabelle.’ Endless Summer does bloom on new wood, but if you severely prune them, you lose the benefit of old wood flower buds. The few buds you saw forming in August is how long it took the new wood to catch up. Review and adjust your maintenance practices, and you should have a better bloom season on the originals as well as the newer plantings.
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