Experts and BHG readers answer.
Why don't my oakleaf hydranges bloom?
I had oakleaf hydrangeas put in a little over three years ago. They leaf out beautifully and have grown quite well since they were planted. However, they have never bloomed or even had a promise of a bloom. The mophead hydrangeas planted in the same area have done fantastically well and are still blooming now in late Sept. Are there varieties of oakleaf that don't bloom? I have not pruned them at all and their feet are not wet. I use mulch but never fertilized them.
Thanks for writing! Without seeing your plants in person, I can't say for certain why they're not blooming. How much sun do they get? Most oakleaf hydrangeas won't bloom well if they're in dense shade all the time; they prefer a little direct sun. They do bloom on last year's stems, so avoid pruning them except in June or early July (though if you've not pruned yours, that's clearly not the problem). Another alternative is that they're still working on getting adjusted. It doesn't typically take that long, but each individual plant is different, just like people. It could be that yours are still working on settling in to your garden.