I think the plant police should come arrest me! Poor Hydrangea!

I got this Hydrangea last year for Easter , only had flowers when I first had it, help where have I gone wrong? Should I cut it all the way down?
i think the plant police should come arrest me poor hydrangea, flowers, gardening, hydrangea
  22 answers
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Mar 20, 2014
    What kind of hydrangea is it? It looks like it's coming back. Turn the soil over a little, fertilize it a little and water. But once you know which type it is, you can search online for more specific care. I just looked one up http://www.ehow.com/how_6714421_care-hydrangea-plants-orlando_-florida.html Good luck.

  • Doris Kammer Doris Kammer on Mar 20, 2014
    No. Don't cut it. It will grow bigger each year.

  • The general rule of thumb for plants: first year sleep, second year wakes up, and the third year it will grow. Hydrangeas do not generally require pruning and this looks as if it were one you received as an indoor plant? Sometimes when you plant hydrangeas and azaleas from the store with pretty wrapped pot and bow, they will need a couple years to recover in higher zones to acclimate to the outside. (I have found) Many of these plants sold at Walmart or retailers are grown for gifts and many are not for zones lower than 7 (maybe 6 if not a harsh winter). Be patient. Most plants need time. Happy Gardening :D

    • @The Garden Frog with C Renee Yes , it was an Easter gift along with lilies and the lilies are growing nicely. I am in florida as far south as you can get . I have it in a partly shaded area. This is my first time with a Hydrangea but its my favorite flower , thank you for this useful info

  • Lynn Lynn on Mar 20, 2014
    What is that right beside it? Looks like some other kind of plant and the two plants are too close. Hydrangeas can grow really big (and beautiful) and are easy to propagate.

  • C & S Creations C & S Creations on Mar 20, 2014
    I have tried to grow these in Minnesota, but have had very little luck. Yours seems to be doing fine and may develop into a beautiful plant. I do know (after several failures) that it is best to test the soil where you are bedding these as they prefer a specific ph level to flourish. I also know that it is vital to add aluminum sulfate to the soil depending on the color. Mine was blue and required a fair amount of sulfate in order to retain the bright blue color. Good luck!!!

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 21, 2014
    It's a challenge to grow hydrangeas as far south as you are in Florida, but yours looks like what big-leaf hydrangeas should look like when they start to leaf out. Give it the label dose of a good slow-release fertilizer like Osmocote.

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    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 22, 2014
      @Rose Degroat It sounds like you have a macrophylla hydrangea, and they definitely bloom on old wood, so if you cut it back you are sacrificing any chance of blooms this year. When it starts to leaf out, I would give it some Osmocote and hope for the best.

  • Lela Lela on Mar 21, 2014
    You're not supposed to cut the "old" wood ( which I have also done ). I wouldn't trim it anymore for a season or two, give it time to heal & grow. Ask your local nursery what to use on the ground around it..... Remember this for all your perennials "The first year it Sleeps, the second year it Creeps & the third year it Leaps ! "

    • Rose Degroat Rose Degroat on Mar 22, 2014
      @Lela Yes, Lela its true--once you cut the old wood it doesn't bloom as the "old" wood is really not dead=it starts to green and that is what the new blooms come out on. Coffee grounds--old coffer or pine needles work wonders for color.

  • Sheri Ryan Thompson Sheri Ryan Thompson on Mar 21, 2014
    I've cut mine back to a foot or so and also see some in the neighborhood left tall and leggy all winter. I personally will continue to cut back. Hydrangeas like sun. You might try another location but actually it looks like it's just getting started and I wouldn't be too concerned at this point. Everyone is giving good advice. Good luck.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kathy C Kathy C on Mar 22, 2014
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee I agree. I live in VA and my hydrangeas absolutely DO NOT like hot sunny places - they wilt.

  • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Mar 22, 2014
    Coffee grounds will help the acid-loving hydrangea. You can dry them out and sprinkle on top of the soil around your hydrangea and you can put a cup or two in a gallon of water-sit outside for a day or two and then pour that coffee-"Tea" directly onto the soil to get the nitrogen right down to the roots. I found an article about that... http://thegardeningcook.com/coffee-grounds/

  • Diana Diana on Mar 22, 2014
    Pamela is right, I do that with mine and it thrives and those brown/black spots go away too.

  • It looks like its coming back so I wouldn't worry too much. Remember that hydrangeas only put out flowers once a year and your Easter blooms were probably forced in a greenhouse for a timely bloom. Don't give up on it yet.

  • Robbie Bagby Robbie Bagby on Mar 22, 2014
    It is my understanding that hydrangeas love acidic soil. To help with that I use coffee and tea grounds. The other option is to get a soil sample tested and then add the necessary additives for blooming.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 22, 2014
    You're safe!!!! They are looking for me first. HA! My hydrangeas look awful...but then they always do! Mine are trying to come back!

  • Rose Degroat Rose Degroat on Mar 22, 2014
    Thank you Douglas Hunt---We have a ways to go before blooming time--its still snowy with snow on fields and sitting water, but as soon as it warms up enough with no chance of frost I will try this.

    • Brenda Schulz Brenda Schulz on Apr 28, 2014
      @Rose Degroat I'm from Saginaw, too.... Glad the snow is gone; hope it stays gone

  • Somewhat Quirky Somewhat Quirky on Mar 22, 2014
    How you prune it depends on the type of hydrangea it is. Some bloom on old wood, some on new wood, and some on both. So you have to look up the kind you have and find that out to determine pruning patterns. As @Douglas Hunt said - this is what your bush should look like as it leafs out. What I usually do is sometime during the summer I cut off the branches that are really dead - you have to wait a while to see which ones are going to develop buds.

  • Suzette Trimmer Suzette Trimmer on Mar 22, 2014
    As many have mentioned the acid loving hydrangeas here in Philadelphia area the new ones for first 2 yrs I always shelter with bussel of pine needles . Helps to not only insulate but also provides natural acid from Pine needles themselves. Besides it is recycling the pine needles and providing winter long nutrients with out any effort or money.Just saying.

  • Emma Santoro-Adkison Emma Santoro-Adkison on Mar 23, 2014
    I believe you will be just fine. My husband whacks the heck out of ours. I thought as you did he killed it. But, once these green leaves start, it will become nice & beautiful again. Use LIME gently to improve flower bloosems & more color. We have one that turns from purple, pink then to a North Carolina blue before it dies back in the fall. Good Luck.

    • Emma Santoro-Adkison Emma Santoro-Adkison on Mar 24, 2014
      @Emma Santoro-Adkison We have one that is semi sun shade. It does much better than the one that must be a good 5/10 years old that was planted in direct sun. Our current home is over 100 years old so no telling when they were both planted. The one in the sun doesn't bloom as well as the semi sun in the Raleigh NC area. I'm sure it'll come back. Remember to add some lime or as the others have suggested Perhaps coffee grounds. Although, I do not use them for anything but my compost. & we grew Butternut squash out of it from the seed thrown out last summer. lol

  • Darwin Darwin on Mar 23, 2014
    The amount of sun depends on what zone and what kind of hydrangea you have. In the South you do not go them in the sun, its too hot. Always research your plants as to variety before you plant or prune.

  • Shirley Mcdaniel Shirley Mcdaniel on Mar 23, 2014

  • Thank you to every one! All this advice has been wonderful and will lead me in the right direction

  • Patty Patty on Mar 24, 2014
    My hydrangea's get morning sun and they bloom beautifully, especially since I got my husband to stop cutting them back with the chain saw. He thought they would get to tall, but my severe temper tantrum put a stop to that and they don't get any taller by not cutting them back. I think yours is getting to much sun and maybe not enough water, I would give it some fertilizer, and water good and deep at least once a week. I make cow dodo tea and use that on a lot of my flowers and shrubs.