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Hydrangea mistake resulting in ‘soft, leafy growth’ may leave plant with no flowers


There are a number of different hydrangea types, but they all enjoy similar growing conditions, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Hydrangeas are hardy and can withstand many conditions, however, it’s important to refer to the care label if you have a newly purchased one.

For newly established plants, the RHS recommended watering them during the first growing season from spring to summer when there has been no rain for seven to 10 days.

Even mature plants will benefit from watering during dry spells as well as mulch to keep the moisture in.

The experts said: “Check the moisture levels of containerised plants regularly and ensure they do not dry out.

“Move containers to a shadier spot in summer to reduce drying out.”

After planting, it is advised to feed hydrangeas with a general fertiliser such as Vitax Q4, Growmore or fish, blood and bone.

However, regular feeding of established plants is not needed, according to the experts.

In fact, too much feeding can result in “soft, leafy growth” with plants “less likely to develop flower buds”.

Feeding them too much can also put hydrangeas more at risk from frost damage, which can kill the plant.

The experts added: “Struggling shrubs growing on lighter, sandier soils may benefit from a spring application of general fertiliser.

“Drought stress can also cause this problem so mulching may be more helpful.”

Other ways to help hydrangeas thrive year-on-year include pruning, but when to do so depends on the variety at hand.

Mophead and lacecaps can be pruned lightly but regularly in mid-spring to help encourage the growth of new flowers.

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