How To Increase Your Hydrangea Blooms

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Stephanie

The blooms of hydrangeas begin in early spring, or mid-summer, until the end of summer. Here we will look at ways to increase the amount of flowers in hydrangeas and also extend the length of a hydrangeas flower!

To encourage flowers, plant the hydrangea in a spot that is sunny in the morning and shade during the afternoon. make sure the soil stays damp and apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring. Hydrangeas bloom in the same year as last years growth, therefore do not cut your flowering hydrangea to increase the number of flowers.

Continue reading to find out how you can increase the amount and the length of your hydrangea flowering and my personal suggestion of fertilizer for hydrangeas that will help support the flowering…

1. Plant Hydrangeas in Morning Sun Followed by Afternoon Shade for More Blooms

To ensure optimal blooming the hydrangeas need an equilibrium of shade and sun.

Everyone wants stunning blooming hydrangeas. And, although some hydrangeas bloom in shade, the majority bloom best in the morning sun, and then afternoon shade, or in the dappled light of the canopy of a tree.

The early morning sun provides the plants with the energy to bloom and shade in the afternoon helps protect delicate flowers and leaves from burning under the intense midday sun and the afternoon sun.

Place your hydrangea in a spot that is open to the morning sun and shading in afternoon. A minimum of 4-6 hours of sun in the morning is ideal.

The suns rays can burn the leaves, and Hydrangea may also suffer from drought stress in hot periods of the day. Therefore, the suns rays can cause harm to flowering , hence the need to the balance of shade and sun to give relief from excessive heat. (For additional solutions, please read my article on what is the reason my flowering hydrangea becoming to brown?)

Take into consideration the effect of any nearby tree canopy and determine if in the summer (when deciduous trees are fully in leaf) it provides excessive shade to your hydrangea, which could reduce the quantity and duration of flowers and reduce the canopy, if needed.

If your hydrangea is exposed to diffused light throughout the day, this will replicate the typical conditions of woodland habitat of hydrangeas and will help in promoting an attractive display of flowers.

The most adaptable hydrangea species is the Hydrangea paniculata because it is able to be adapted to both shade and full sun.

hydrangea flowers

2. Ensure Soil is Consistently Moist for More Flowers

It is crucial that the soil of hydrangeas is consistently and evenly humid. Insufficient moisture can cause new growth to stop and, consequently, the development of blooms and is often the reason of a dying hydrangea (read my article on ways to bring back the dying flowering hydrangea).

It is crucial to ensure that your hydrangea is kept moist during the spring, when new growth is beginning to emerge.

If the soil was properly prepared prior to plant, i.e. with the right organic matter (see the 6th point) and there have been mulching during the early spring months, then mature hydrangeas will not require more watering, unless there are drought-like conditions.

Mulch can help preserve the soils moisture but during hot weather and times of drought, you must make sure to soak your soil often as you can to ensure the soil moist and evenly otherwise the growth of new buds could become affected.

Smaller or less mature hydrangea root systems are smaller than hydrangeas that are more mature, so when the hydrangeas size is less or has been planted within the past two years (and not fully established) regular irrigation of your hydrangea plant is essential to ensure a beautiful appearance of flowers.

3. Avoid Pruning Hydrangeas Too Often-More Flower Buds

One of the biggest errors in caring for hydrangeas is excessive pruning. The majority of hydrangeas dont require annual pruning because the flowers develop from old timber instead of on the new seasons growth.

The flowers of hydrangeas bloom between mid and the end of summer. They will only bloom from the shoots of the previous seasons crop (so dont cut off the stems!) Pruning should, in the best case be restricted to trimming back dead plants and flower heads.

If you cut your hydrangeas back to a high level it can produce a lot of lush growth in the foliage, but with no flowers.

Hydrangeas are tough, durable plants that will grow stronger in the next year following pruning, however, it could be one or two years before they bloom again in the same way.

If you have to cut your hydrangea in a significant way and significantly, cut it off immediately after it has bloomed. This will allow the most time so that the plant can develop and encourage buds for the next years flowering!

But you might have to cut down your Hydrangea (if its too big to fit in your garden) In this case, you must accept that it may not bloom for a year or two, but with a bit of perseverance, the hydrangea will bloom in a timely manner once the new growth is mature.

4. Use a Well Balanced Fertilizer to Support Flower Development

Its tempting to apply fertiziler in order to give our hydrangeas the greatest chances of looking stunning. However:

A lot of nitrogen in excessive amounts (a important ingredient in fertilizers) can encourage lush green foliage, however it could also limit the hydrangeas blooms.

The most effective fertilizer for hydrangeas is a balanced and granular fertilizer (such as Miracle Grow).

Granular fertilizers release nutrients slowly, ensuring that the hydrangea gets every nutrient it needs in the proper amount to allow it to bloom.

If you regularly apply mulch and have laid out the ground prior to plant (with plenty of compost or leaf mold, or decayed manure) mature hydrangeas usually dont require fertilizers to bloom, but small or containerized hydrangeas that have smaller root systems will benefit by using fertilizers in the spring.

5. Hydrangea Flowering – Amend the soil with organic Matter

To keep the flowers of your hydrangea looking the best, its important to have a fertile soil. A poor quality soil, whether sandy or stony, can have a significant impact on the appearance of your hydrangeas blooms.

For the most beautiful blooms, it is recommended to prepare the planting space prior to planting; make use of a lot in organic material (compost leaf mold, leaf mold, or manure that has been well rotted) to ensure the ideal amount of soil water and nutrients so that the hydrangea is provided with all the nutrients it requires to show off its flowers.

The hydrangea species is native to woodlands which is why they thrive in soil made of leaf litter that contains plenty of nutrients and stores water well. Therefore, for your hydrangeas blooms to be at the best, it is essential to mimic these conditions.

If the soil in your garden is a heavy clay or sandy then its even more crucial that you prepare your soil prior to hand in order to create the ideal conditions for your hydrangea plant to bloom and flourish.

If you have to transfer your hydrangea to an area with fertile soil, you can move your hydrangea into the spring. You can alter your soil to an 18-inch depth by using compost leaf mold or well-rotted manure( all three hold water and supply soil nutrients) to allow the root system to full maturation.

The preparation of the soil prior to planting and applying mulch in the spring mimics the natural environment of hydrangeas and will ensure that your hydrangea has all the resources it requires to bloom at its peak.

(If youre having issues with your hydrangeas, then go through my article on what is the reason my hydrangea flowering but not blooming to find the answer).

6. Shelter Hydrangeas to Protect Delicate Growth

Place your hydrangea in an arbor or in a place which will shield it from frost and wind (such as fencing, walls or any other plant) instead of an open , windy part of the garden.

Since hydrangeas are woodland plants They naturally thrive in protected conditions, which decreases the chance of wind-related damage and frost. You can replicate the same in your yard.

Both frost and wind can cause damage to new growth and flowers, thereby affecting their the blooms!

Additionally, you should keep the flower heads that have fallen off on your hydrangeas as they help to protect your plant from frosts in the winter. Although they might look ugly but theyre a great protection from frost.

If you notice frost damage to your hydrangea plant, ensure you cut off the dead just above the next bud on the stem.

The buds located on the outside of your plant are most likely to suffer frost damage however, the buds that are further to the bottom of the stem are usually more secure and are able to show flowers.

The most important takeaways

  • Hydrangeas bloom more frequently and longer when they are planted in an area with morning sunlight followed by shade in the afternoon. The morning sun supplies the hydrangea with energy and encourage flowering, while afternoon shade shields delicate plants and flowers from stress, so they last for longer.
  • The soil must remain moist throughout the year, especially in the spring months to allow the new blooms to grow. Make sure to water as often as you need to keep the soil damp and then apply mulch around the beginning of Spring in order to retain moisture and create the ideal conditions for the hydrangeas to bloom.
  • Be careful not to prune your hydrangea too often since hydrangeas bloom on the last years growth. If you cut the hydrangea too much it could be removed that the flower buds grow the next year, and stop the hydrangea from blooming.
  • The hydrangeas can be planted in soil that has been amended by compost to provide the conditions of moist soil that the hydrangeas need to flower. The hydrangea should be planted in a protected area to shield the flowering buds from frost and wind harm. Be careful not to cut hydrangeas each year because they bloom on old wood, not the new growth.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)