Hydrangea Bushes Have Not Bloomed In Years

Question From: J. Parks - Sanford, Maine, United States
Q: I have 2 very healthy looking hydrangea bushes. They have not bloomed since the first year I had them. They were a gift to me after retirement over 6 years ago. I'm wondering if they were not meant to be outdoors? One is planted in direct sunlight the other is planted in an area that gets afternoon sun about 5 hours a day trying to find a place they would like. I have fed them twice a year, Fall and early Spring with a mixture sold to me by a nursery. They were a beautiful shade of blue when I received them. If they were not meant to be outdoors, will they bloom if I pot them and bring them inside? I live in Maine but I see others blooming all around town. They do not appear to have any insect problems as the leaves are a very healthy beautiful shade of green.

A: Judy, Winter exposure and too much fertilizer are the probable causes. Hydrangeas should be shaded from hot afternoon sun. A thin layer of compost on the surface of the soil and 3 inches of organic mulch will also help. I give my hydrangeas a handful of organic fertilizer in late fall. That's it. Good Luck, Nancy and Happy Yardening