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I have a white mophead hydrangea that had beautiful large flowers since when it has just declined and is now very small and hardly growing why is this? My soil light and sandy.


  • TheScottishGardenerTheScottishGardener AberdeenshirePosts: 45
    I am on the assumption that it's a macrophylla.

    My top tips are to prune and feed late winter/early spring to encourage good growth on. How long have you had it? If you haven't pruned and fed yet you could cut back to just above the new shoots then work a feed into the soil, in a loop around the base of the plant.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,311
    edited 7 April
    If your soil is light and sandy it is probably dying of thirst. There are some plants that thrive with good drainage, but Hydrangea is not one of them. They are hungry, thirsty plants and all the nutrients will be washed away with the water in soil such as yours.
    You need to add some substance to the soil with compost, homemade or mpc. and some well rotted manure applied around the plant, but not too close to the stem,  and lightly forked in. Then water it as often as you can, with the water delivered slowly, so it has time to soak in to the compost, and in quantity so it can go deep, not just sit on the surface. Some foliar feed added to the first few waterings at half strength should help it get up and running. It may not flower much this year, as it needs good strong foliage to deliver the resources for flower production, but if you are lucky there may be some later.
  • TattonTatton Posts: 11
    Okay thanks I will feed and see how things go
  • luis_prluis_pr Hurst, Texas USDA Zone 8aPosts: 25
    edited 7 April
    Hello, Tatton. Can you post a picture (include flowers too if you can) to see what kind of hydrangea it is? If blooming now poorly, it feels like it could be a recently purchased plant. Can you clarify? Or did you mean that it produced better blooms on a prior year? What other plants are you growing nearby and how are they doing? Thanks in advance.
  • TattonTatton Posts: 11
    I am in England so further behind than yourself, will take a picture soon
  • TattonTatton Posts: 11

  • TattonTatton Posts: 11
    This hydrangea is about three years old and never grows well, I have a pH of 7 .
  • RaboonRaboon Posts: 2
    edited 8 April
    Strong new growth from the base. That Looks OK to me.

    That said, it appears the woody stems have just been snapped off.
    I would have cut back with sharp secateurs to a bud, or failing that, right back to the base. Cleanly.
    As it is, cut back the dead wood with secateurs to prevent disease and give the green growth room to maneuver.

    Tidy up the crap around the base and the moss.
    I would be tempted to hoik out the hyacinth? growing right up against, as it would be pinching nutrients and water. ie actually get a fork and hoik the bulb out, don't just yank the foliage.

    If you're saying the soil is poor, prod some compost into the surrounding soil to a fork's depth to aid water retention.

    Feed with growmore - read the directions, don't just go guns blazing.

    Mulch - don't just toss bark or whatever over the Hydrangea and job jobbed, it needs to be a 5cm deep, decently wide donut surrounding the plant - you don't want it touching the foliage or stems really. The idea is to keep moisture in the soil and prevent weeds encroaching on precious territory!

    Wait :)

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,847
    I would be inclined to dig it out and plant it in a big pot. In your soil, it's always going to struggle. They need shade, lots of moisture retentive soil and lots of watering. Wrong plant I'm afraid.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,013
    I absolutely agree with Lizzie above. 
    3 years and still like that,   Obvious the plant isn't happy in its situation. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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