7 Tips to Get Your Hydrangeas to Bloom After Winter - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

7 Tips to Get Your Hydrangeas to Bloom After Winter

One of the main concerns of growing beautiful hydrangeas is to make them bloom after winter dormancy. With a little work and lots of love in the early springtime, you can revive your hydrangeas once again and encourage their prolific growth. 

Here are seven best tips that guarantee blooming hydrangeas again after winter. Read on! 

Remove Insulation Carefully

Warming hydrangeas with a covering material before winter frosts
Image credits: mikhail62 via Shutterstock

Before the cold weather rained down on your garden, you probably insulated your hydrangeas. If you did and you protected them from the harsh winter, kudos! This is a crucial step in getting your hydrangeas to bloom once again!

Now, be careful as you remove their insulation, or bring your potted hydrangeas outside from your basement or garage. The plants might have developed some buds beneath the insulation, and if not taken care of, you could destroy them.

Do not remove the insulation wrap or mulch haphazardly as exposing them to direct sunlight immediately after removing the material can harm the foliage. It is best to remove the insulation on a cloudy day and provide shade to the plant for several days to let it adjust to the bright daylight. 

Watch Out for Weather Fluctuations 

Protecting hydrangea plants using burlap
Image Credits: Chiot’s Run via Flickr

The weather can be unpredictable in early spring. Sometimes the days are warmer, with cooler nights and chances of frost. So, keep your hydrangeas safe by covering them using a frost cover or burlap. This way, the cold nights of early spring won’t affect them. 

For optimal blooms, hydrangeas grow best when day temperatures are around 64 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and night temperatures are around 51 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prune the Dead Parts

Plants in winter
Image Credits: SB_Johnny via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the protection that you provided in winter, there is a chance your hydrangeas were affected by frost or snow. The good news is you can still revive them! Take a closer look at your plant for browned and blackened leaves, while removing the damaged parts. Make sure to use sharp, clean pruners for the best cut. This will promote new growth and get your hydrangeas to focus their energy on producing breathtaking blooms. 

You also need to look for new growth and signs of life to ensure that all your pruning will be worth it. New buds are generally on the lower side of the plant, and you don’t want to accidentally snip those, so prune carefully. 

Restart Watering Routine

Watering hydrangeas
Image Credits: blackseaman via pxhere

As the temperatures rise, your hydrangeas will need water to revive their growth and burst blooms. Hydrangeas prefer plenty of water, and lack of will lead to wilting leaves and a lack of flowers.

It is best to water your hydrangeas 1 inch per week throughout the growing season. Use a soaker hose to deeply moisturize the hydrangeas in the morning and prepare them for the heat throughout the day. 

Avoid Excessive Shade 

Hydrangeas in shade
Image Credits: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

As your hydrangeas adjust to warmer temperatures, make sure that you are providing them with adequate light. Too little or too much sunlight can affect flowering in hydrangeas.

Although, some varieties will need more sun than others. Those native to North America prefer less sun while those in warmer climates require more. As a rule of thumb provide at least three hours of sunlight daily.

Provide full sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon, especially at this stage, when they are getting acquainted with higher temperatures. 

Fertilize Correctly

Potted hydrangeas
Image Credits: Aliaksei Semirski via Pexels

To make your hydrangeas bloom after winter, add some fertilizer in the early spring to encourage growth. Application of a 10-10-10 general-purpose fertilizer will be good for hydrangeas. However, it also depends on the variety that you are growing. For instance, oakleaf hydrangeas need two applications in April and June, bigleaf hydrangeas need fertilizer applications in March, May, and June, and smooth hydrangeas need fertilization once in late winter.

If you have planted hydrangeas in soil rich in organic matter, you might not need to fertilize them at all. Too much fertilizer, especially heavy in nitrogen, can lead to more leaves and fewer flowers. 

Control the Colors of Your Hydrangeas

hydrangeas outside
Image Credits: Ben_Kerckx via Pixabay

Now that you have full blooms, do you want particularly pink or blue hydrangeas? Well, you can achieve that. It is all about controlling the pH level. Acidic soil will give you blue flowers, while alkaline soil will produce pink blooms. 

If you want pink hydrangea flowers do not supply aluminum to the plant through fertilizer. Try using a fertilizer heavier in phosphorus. 

Similarly, if you want your hydrangeas to grow blue flowers, provide more aluminum to your plant. If you want purplish-colored flowers, provide aluminum quantities in moderation. 

Patience is Virtue

Your precious hydrangeas have fought the winters. Applaud them and wait! Patience is a virtue here as it will give the plant a chance to revive itself. So, once you have fertilized the plant, pruned away all the dead parts, and started watering it, give it some time, and you will see good results. 

Do you have more after-winter care tips for hydrangeas? Share in the comments below.