Asked August 1, 2018, 6:07 AM EDT

I have had hydrangeas for yrs; growth on both old and new wood. Two yrs ago, I cut them back to ground level. I have had no blooms on my "used to be beautiful, blue hydrangeas". Same results with other varities/colors. Beautiful, healthy foliage, but I want blooms! What did I do wrong? Will they ever come back? Also, on my fern hanging outside, do I cut the long strings off (they have no leaves on them). If not, what purpose do they serve? I asked you the 1st. question a few days ago, but received no response. I live in the Dundalk area of Balto. Cty. Thank you in advance of your response!

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

We are not sure what happened to your other questionbut we sent a response to you on 7/2718.
Here is our answer.

It depends somewhat on what species of hydrangeas you have, as different species bloom on different growth.

The familiar mophead produces its flower buds (for the next summer) in the late summer after that summer's flowers die and start to fade. You probably cut off the next year's flower buds by either pruning it down in the fall or spring. When the foliage came back, it had no flower buds from the summer before, since it was all new wood at that point. Even if you have the species that bloom on new and old wood like the 'Endless Summer' series because of the cold winter and spring temperature fluctuations we had this season bloom may be sparse or not at all.

There is no reason that it should not flower in the future as long as it is not pruned severely again or suffers severe winter dieback.
Do not fertilize to encourage flowering. Lots of nitrogen encourages lots of leaves but not flowers.

The fern may be a Boston Fern. The strings are aerial roots. You can cut them off and it does not hurt the plant. Some gardeners may decide to propagate them.