When Do Hydrangeas Bloom (Key Factors + Plant Care Tips)


Hydrangea plants are popular for their elegant and colorful flower clusters.

But when do hydrangeas bloom?

A hydrangea bloom depends on several factors like:

We’ll explore these factors and other essential hydrangea care tips.

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When Do Hydrangeas Bloom: 4 Influential Factors

Four factors mainly affect hydrangea bloom time:

1. Hydrangea Types and Seasons

The blooming periods of popular hydrangea varieties include:

  • May to July
      • Hydrangea petiolaris (climbing hydrangea)
      • Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)
  • June to August
      • Hydrangea serrata (mountain hydrangea)
  • June to September 
      • Hydrangea macrophylla (bigleaf and mophead hydrangea)
      • Hydrangea arborescens (annabelle and smooth hydrangea)
  • July to August
      • Hydrangea marcophylla normalis (lacecap hydrangea)
  • July to September
      • Hydrangea paniculata (panicle hydrangea)

    2. Ideal Temperatures for Hydrangeas to Bloom

    Here’s the deal:

    Different hydrangea varieties flower at different temperatures. But most of them prefer a moderate climate. 

    Bottom line? 

    Keep your hydrangea away from winter frostbite or summer sunburn, whether a bigleaf hydrangea or mountain hydrangea.

    3. When and Where to Plant Hydrangeas

    Want to help your hydrangeas bloom?

    Follow these pro tips when planting hydrangeas:

    • Planting hydrangeas between fall and early spring gives the shrub time to form a healthy root system.
    • To avoid heat stress, plant hydrangeas at cooler times, like early morning or late afternoon. Planting at the wrong time can cause scorched leaves and buds, resulting in delayed flowers until the following year.
    • Protect your hydrangea from harsh winds and full sun by choosing a well-sheltered location (preferably the north or south of your home). 

    4. How You Prune Hydrangea

    Pruning hydrangeas do more than shape your plant — it increases the flowering branches for future flower clusters.

    How to go about pruning hydrangeas?

    • Old wood hydrangeas: Certain hydrangeas bloom on old wood (last year's growth). Avoid pruning these hydrangeas around winter, as they may produce flower buds that bloom the next year.

      Old wood hydrangeas include: 

      • Mophead hydrangea
      • Lacecap hydrangea
      • Bigleaf hydrangea (excluding cultivars like Endless Summer)
      • Climbing hydrangea
      • Oakleaf hydrangea
    • New wood hydrangeas: Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood (new growth) produce flower buds around late spring. Deadheading (removing every spent or faded flower head) these shrubs encourages more blooms.

      Some new wood hydrangeas are:
      • Panicle hydrangea
      • Smooth hydrangea (known for its large, white flower head)
      • Little lime hydrangea
      • Limelight hydrangea
    • Reblooming hydrangeas: Rebloomers produce flower buds on old and new wood. Prune these hydrangeas around late winter or early spring to encourage new growth.

      Here are some rebloomers: 
      • Endless summer hydrangea
      • Let’s dance starlight hydrangea
      • Everlasting hydrangea

    Fun fact: Endless summer was the first bigleaf hydrangea to bloom on both old and new wood, becoming the first reblooming hydrangea. 

    Important Hydrangea Care Tips

    Use these home gardening tips to help your hydrangea shrub bloom

    • Choose the right soil: Opt for nutrient-rich, well-draining, and moist soil, like Rosy’s hydrangea soil. It’s Earth Positive, well-draining, and nutrient-rich — perfect for all types of hydrangeas.  
    • Provide adequate light: Place hydrangeas in shaded areas where they can get plenty of early morning sun but away from harsh winds and direct sunlight. 
    • Water appropriately: Water your hydrangeas when the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry ( preferably early morning or evening to avoid quick evaporation). 
    • Improve soil fertility: Consider using organic fertilizer (like compost, manure, or worm castings) once or twice in the summer. 
    • Keep pests and diseases away: Use an organic insecticide/fungicidal spray to eliminate pests, but keep the leaves dry to prevent fungal diseases. 

    4 FAQs on Hydrangeas 

    Have more questions about blooming and growing hydrangeas?

    Keep reading.  

    1. Does a Hydrangea Flower Every Year?

    Hydrangeas bloom seasonally and typically start to bud around mid-summer or late summer. 

    However, a newly planted hydrangea may take 2-3 years to bloom. 

    2. How Long Does a Hydrangea Bloom Last?

    The hydrangea flower clusters can last up to 2 months, depending on the cultivar, climate, and how well you take care of them.   

    3. How Do You Control the Hydrangea Flower Color?

    You can control the flower color of some hydrangea (like bigleaf hydrangea and mophead hydrangea) based on the soil pH levels. 

    Here’s how to get blue or pink flowers:

    • Hydrangeas absorb aluminum at low pH levels (acidic soil) to produce beautiful blue flower clusters. 
    • They bloom vibrant pink flowers at high pH levels (alkaline soil.)

    4. How Do You Keep Hydrangea Blooms from Wilting? 

    Hydrangeas don’t like extreme conditions.

    Avoid overwatering or underwatering, and place the plant in areas with partial shade.

    Enjoy Your Hydrangea’s Best Blooms 

    A variety of hydrangea species bloom from early summer through early fall, depending on the factors we covered above.  

    Follow our tips to provide the right flowering conditions for your hydrangeas. 

    And if you’re looking for the perfect soil, try Rosy’s hydrangea soil for optimal care. Our Earth-Positive soil optimizes drainage and boosts aeration, helping your hydrangeas thrive and produce stunning blooms.