With lush blooms, hydrangeas are probably the most beautiful and popular shrubs you can find around. Whether it is to décor your room and garden or to make a beautiful bridal bouquet, hydrangeas play a go-to plant to have.
But most gardeners frequently complain their hydrangea only blooming on the bottom. Now, that’s a legit problem since, without flowers, hydrangeas are not desirable.
However, even though hydrangeas are perennials yet their blooming stage does not last long. So, flowers only at the bottom won’t bring the most out of it. Thus, if you are here with the same problem then you have got our back.
There might be several reasons for hydrangea not fully blooming or blooming only at the bottom. Some are not knowing the variety or type, improper pruning, seasonal factors, excessive fertilizer, watering issues, soil problems, and others.
Let’s know how they affect the blooming of hydrangea and how can you fix them.
Why Hydrangea is Only Blooming on the Bottom? – Causes and Solutions
1. Type or Variety of your Hydrangea
This might be a very crucial reason for your hydrangea flowering only on the part near the ground. There are mainly two types of hydrangea varieties. One of the types blooms from old wood of hydrangea whereas the other type blooms from newly grown wood.
Thus, if your hydrangea is prone to bloom out of old wood then you might see flowers only at the bottom. Consequently, you will not find any flowers in the new wood.
Vice versa, if the plant grows flower only from the new wood. You will not find flowers where the shrub has grown new wood.
Again, the plant hardiness zone you are using for planting your hydrangea also requires the right type. Know first, what region your hydrangea requires for its proper growth and blooming.
- Know the type of your hydrangea first and act accordingly.
- If the shrub grows flowers from old wood, then prune the new wood.
- Again, if your hydrangea flowers grow from new wood, then prune old wood.
- Get help from your nearby local extension service.
If your hydrangea produces pink or blue flowers then they must belong to Hydrangea macrophylla. In winter, these shrubs mostly die back and again start to grow back in later spring.
So, it cannot grow new flowers as it remains busy growing new wood. Nonetheless, it blooms next year when the stalks are old.
2. Unaware of Improper Pruning
Have you realized you are doing it wrong all the way through? Well, pruning is very important for hydrangea shrubs. But only the right method can bring you success. Pruning in a sense is related to the type of hydrangea.
You should prune only the new wood of hydrangea that flowers from old wood. In the case of another type of hydrangea, you should only prune the old wood. That way newly grown stalks will flower.
Again, some unskilled gardeners prune living wood instead of dead wood. That is why your hydrangea dies in no time without flowering or flowering only on the bottom.
Then again, pruning too much of the upper part in the previous year also affects its blooming efficiency.
Pruning in the wrong season like late winter or early summer also inhibits the blossom of hydrangea.
- Pruning should be done to remove all the dead wood from your hydrangea. Early spring is the right season for pruning.
- Do not prune after 1st August. It allows the shrubs to grow stems that do not get sufficient nutrients.
- You can also prune after the hydrangea has bloomed for that year so that it blooms in the next year.
- If buds of hydrangeas are found in old wood, then do not prune them in late summer.
- Do not get overwhelmed and end up over-pruning your hydrangeas.
3. Hydrangea Affected by Winter
Winter is another reason why your hydrangeas have flowers only around the bottom part. During the season of extreme winter, the buds of your hydrangea shrubs tend to die. Fortunately, some buds that remain near the ground manage to survive the season.
It is simply because they are less exposed to the extreme wind of winter. Also, these parts are protected by the leaves from the upper parts. Or, they may be covered with snow.
Thus, only the buds of the lower parts of your hydrangeas are not affected by winter. So, you see flowers only on the bottom.
This factor is also related to the hardiness zone. In lover the number of hardiness zone, hydrangeas can hardly survive.
Therefore, protecting the whole hydrangea from winter wind and cold is the only way out. But, how?
- Make a frame with stakes surrounding the in-ground hydrangeas. Again, form cages around the frame wrapped with chicken wire. Then, fill the created cage with leaves or pine needles. It will insulate your hydrangeas fully from winter weather.
- You can also make insulation settled with oak leaves. You can use them as filling material.
- If you own potted hydrangeas then make sure you bring the pots inside your home before they come in contact with the first frost.
- Again, if the potted hydrangeas are too heavy to move then go for foam insulation to protect them.
However, taking care of hydrangeas during winter may seem a bit labor-intensive. Yet, with some effort, you can make sure your hydrangea is blooming all over it. Finally, you can pray for a mild winter!
4. Wrong Soil for Hydrangea
Sometimes hydrangeas in the wrong soil do not allow to bloom on top of the plant. Soil that has insufficient nutrients shows these symptoms. Sometimes, the essential nutrients that are required for flowering do not go to the top due to insufficiency.
Thus, the nutrients can reach only the lower portions of the shrubs. Hence, blooming only on the bottom occurs.
Nonetheless, some soil nutrients in the wrong amount also affect the blooming of hydrangea. If the soil where your shrubs are planted has nitrogen abundance then it will only provide you lush foliage. But unfortunately, you will not get any flowers.
What hydrangea actually needs for blooming properly is the abundant presence of phosphorous. Phosphorous allows hydrangeas to flower properly all over the foliage. Not only hydrangeas but also other flowering shrubs also require phosphorous in order to bloom properly.
However, excessive phosphorous can also act in a detrimental way. Since plants gain energy through photosynthesis and later invest the energy in blooming so too much of the nutrient is not required.
- First, test your soil and determine the nutrients it lacks, and then take steps accordingly.
- If there is insufficient phosphorous in the soil then use phosphorus-based fertilizer.
- You can also add bone meal to your soil. It increases the amount of phosphorous in the soil.
- Make your soil naturally fertile by adding organic matter.
If you are using a commercial fertilizer (our pick: Miracle-Gro Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plant Food) to make sure your hydrangea bloom properly then must follow the instructions.
5. Using Excessive Fertilizer
Talk about soil, the use of fertilizer comes automatically. These two factors are involved with each other. When you find a lack of nutrients in the soil, you depend on fertilizers.
Thus, many gardeners use nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium-based fertilizers in the soil for better blooming of hydrangeas. But excessive usage might hurt the entire metabolic process and blooming might also come to a stoppage.
Remember that, fertilizing the soil only helps your favorite hydrangea to boost up a little bit. It also helps to bloom both on top and bottom and also in the middle.
So, you can follow some control measures while using fertilizer.
- You can use a certain amount of liquid fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer is a good source since hydrangea absorbs it evenly.
- Coffee grounds also work as a great substitute for fertilizer.
- Do not use fertilizer when the weather is too hot or dry.
- Do not overfeed fertilizer to your hydrangea.
6. Improper Watering
Lack of water in hydrangea can cause a number of problems to hydrangea. It is also the reason why your hydrangea is blooming only on the bottom. Watering the roots through soil helps hydrangea to carry the nutrients all over the plant.
Therefore, hydrangea requires a great amount of water to thrive and flower properly. It also keeps the blooming as long as possible. Again, hydrangeas are kept under direct sunlight and they also get afternoon shade. Hence, the soil loses moisture very soon.
Consequently, the water uptake of the plant does not reach its top. So, it is obvious that blooming on the top of hydrangea will be hampered.
- Water your hydrangea frequently when rainwater is not enough
- Do not allow the shrubs to be dehydrated.
- Water the shrubs in the morning.
7. Pests and Diseases Attack
Even though hydrangeas are popular for being resistant to pests and disease yet they can be attacked in extreme situations. In most cases, the upper portion of the shrubs is attacked by pests including aphids, scale insects, and other beetles.
On the other hand, the lower parts of the plants are not that exposed so they are less attacked by the pest. Thus, only the bottom of the hydrangea can grow flowers.
Again, you can also find fungal diseases mostly occurred in the upper parts. It is because those parts are exposed and come in contact with infections easily.
Wet leaves from the top of hydrangea can also cause rust, powdery mildew, and other fungal diseases by stopping blooms to grow.
- Pick and remove the pest by hand and destroy them or burn them.
- Let not the leaves of hydrangea be wet for too long.
- Using organic pest repellent will also help
# Use Lavender Oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Witch hazel
- Take a bottle and mix one part of lavender essential oil with ten parts witch hazel
- Shake the mixture gently for some moments
- Then apply over the pests to get instant result
# Garlic Spray
- One clove of garlic
- Dish soap
- Vegetable or mineral oil
- Smash the clove and add one tablespoon of dish soap
- Also, add two cups of water and two tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Then mix together in a spray bottle
- Spray the solution over the pests.
8. Hydrangeas Are Placed in the Crowd
For better blooming, it is necessary to let your hydrangea spread properly. It is not possible if your hydrangeas are crowded. It increases the competition for nutrients among shrubs.
That is why the top of the hydrangeas do not get proper nutrition and does not bloom in the end.
- Give each of your hydrangeas enough space to spread properly
- Make sure there is no weed.
- Replant properly if crowding occurs.
How Do I Get My Hydrangea To Bloom More?
Ensuring the right soil, hardiness zone, sufficient nutrients, proper pruning, enough watering, and protection from winter wind you can get your hydrangea to bloom more.
Does Cutting Hydrangea Blooms Encourage More Blooms?
If the older blooms of hydrangea are dull then pruning them is a wise idea. You can also prune wilted or faded blooms. It actually encourages the shrubs to bloom more.
What To Feed Hydrangeas To Make Them Bloom?
Well, feeding a balanced amount of all-purpose fertilizer of NPK can help the hydrangea to bloom properly.
How Do You Fix Hydrangeas That Don’t Bloom?
By determining the types and requirements of your hydrangea you can fix it to bloom. Pruning the dead wood also helps in this purpose.
Now that you know why your hydrangea only blooming on bottom, you can get over this problem. Anything you do to your plants, remember that only good care can be the best cure. Your hydrangea deserves to be handled gently.
Only then it will leaf out with a great range of vibrant flowers all over it. To have this beautiful feeling, follow the guidelines we have stated above. If they are useful enough then let us know too.
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