Hydrangea Blooms Blasted

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Posted by Horticulture Guy - Peter Punzi | Posted in Midwest U.S. Gardeners | Posted on 29-07-2008

Q. I have a Hydrangea that was bought as a gift from a floral shop. I transplanted it outside 3 years ago and I have never been able to get it to bloom. I can see the blooms and they start to open and then dry up and never open to a full blooming flower. I have tried several acidic fertilizers hoping I could get the thing to bloom, but with no luck. Maybe this type of Hyrdrangea is not for the zone I live in which is near Milwaukee WI. I am not sure what type of Hydrangea it is and I know there are many varieties. Thanks for your time. Sheila Stoffel
A. You are correct that there are some Florist Hydrangeas that are not as hardy as many of our garden varieties but since you are actually getting flower buds it sounds like you have a hardy hydrangea.  What it sounds like you are seeing is a condition called “bud blast” which is usually caused by a fungal disease called botrytis (do the buds show a greyish fuzz?).  It requires some moisture to do well so you may need to discontinue overhead watering of these plants or move them to a spot with more air movement.  Anything to keep the buds and blossoms dry.  Also cleaing and disposing of infected buds and dropped leaves is a good idea as it will reduce spores for next year.  – Peter AKA – HG