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Hydrangea Blooms

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Recently we had a caller whose hydrangeas didn’t have a single bloom although the foliage was lush and healthy and the plants got plenty of morning sun and had bloomed in past years. Our horticultural experts reminded viewers that some of the older varieties of bigleaf or French hydrangeas only bloom on last season’s wood --- the plants set flowering buds before the plants go dormant in the fall. If we have a late cold snap after those buds have broken dormancy after an early warm period, they can be killed. Or If you get a bee in your bonnet when cleaning up the garden in the spring and prune those hydrangeas back, you’ve cut off all the flowering buds and won’t have any blossoms. For general maintenance on larger plants, remove some of the oldest canes and any that are damaged. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.