When Should Hydrangeas Bloom?
Usually hydrangea blooms from July to September, and sometimes longer – until the first frost. The large-leaved species produces flower caps from the upper buds of shoots grown last season. A paniculate forms buds in summer from stems that appear in spring.
Why hydrangea does not bloom
Perhaps it is due to improper care, illness or other problems.
1. Wrong cropping
This is a common cause for large-leaved hydrangea. In the spring, you can get too carried away with pruning shoots and remove flower buds that were laid last year. As a result, there will be no flowers in the summer, because they simply have nowhere to grow.
Therefore, be careful with pruning large-leaved hydrangeas. At the beginning of the season, remove only dry branches that have not survived the winter. If you have a thick adult bush, you can also cut old thick shoots that are at least 4-5 years old.
2. Freezing flower buds
Paniculata hydrangea survives the winter well even without shelter. But the large-leaved one should be protected from frost in the central and northern regions. The plant reacts very sharply to a decrease in temperature, and flower buds can die in the fall, when there have not yet been serious frosts.
Therefore, from October, start preparing the hydrangea for “hibernation”: put a generous layer of dry fallen leaves or straw on the soil around the plant. And when the air temperature starts to drop below 5 degrees, cover the bush with spruce branches or agrofiber, fixing it around the edges with stones or bricks. In the spring, starting from April, when the threat of frost has passed and stable warmth has come, you can remove the protection.
3. Deficiency or excess of top dressing
Like any other plant, hydrangea needs nutrients. It is important to use fertilizers correctly. In the spring, when the buds are barely starting to wake up, you can feed the bush with a product with a high nitrogen content – it will help the hydrangea grow green mass faster.
In summer, when the buds hatch, and also after active flowering, it is better, on the contrary, not to use nitrogen. Hydrangea should prepare for winter and not waste energy on excessive growth. But potassium and phosphorus will be most welcome. Among the popular fertilizers, you can choose potassium monophosphate or use a special tool for hydrangeas.
If the leaves begin to lighten, the buds are not visible, or the flowering is not as lush as it should be, perhaps the problem lies in the insufficient acidity of the soil, due to which the plant cannot absorb nutrition. In this case, sprinkle wood bark or high-moor peat with a pH of 2.5-3.5 around the bush – a layer of 8-10 cm is enough. Such a mulch will gradually decompose and acidify the soil in the flower bed.
4. Insufficient watering
Hydrangeas are very sensitive to lack of water, especially in summer. The soil in the flower bed should always be moist. The plant needs to be watered every 3-4 days, and in heat and drought – daily. Each bush requires 20-30 liters of water. Sprinkling can also be done in the evenings: spray hydrangea leaves from a hose with a diffuser nozzle.
5. Diseases and pests
Most often, hydrangeas suffer from fungal diseases – for example, powdery mildew, cercosporosis and spotting. In this case, you can not do without special preparations – fungicides. With most fungal diseases, Skor, Fitosporin, Alirin, Fundazol and Topaz cope well.
Hydrangea can also be attacked by pests. Among the frequent guests are spider mites, aphids and slugs that love to feast on succulent leaves. Drugs also help to fight them – Aktara, Iskra, Fitoverm, Molluskotsid and other insecticides are suitable.
When fighting both diseases and pests, it is necessary to spray not only plants, but also the soil around them. Processing is best done in the evening so that the chemicals do not burn the leaves under the influence of sunlight. And the consumption rates and the required number of treatments can be found in the instructions – they differ for each drug.