Almost exactly a year ago, my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea was blooming. This year, as you can see above, it doesn’t even have buds.
What Went Wrong?
Okay, I forgot to feed it. Does it completely fail to make buds without fertilizer? I think not. It may not flower as profusely, and the blooms may not be as big, but no flowers at all?
The weather was not to its liking. There was that late May freeze. Yes, I covered it, but still. Other covered plants showed visible damage. Perhaps the hydrangea suffered damage that I couldn’t see, that killed the flower buds. Certainly the smaller hydrangea nearby got hit. It never recovered, either.
And the weather is still not to its liking. I think Hydrangea macrophylla likes more heat to its summer. We’ve scarcely hit 80F the whole summer. Not that I, personally, am complaining.
What’s Eating Them?
By now you may have noticed that the leaves are covered with spots. I’m not sure if this yet-to-be-identified bug above is causing them, or if it’s a disease, such as Cercospora leaf spot.
If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a hundred times: when a plant succumbs to insects or disease, it’s usually because it was already stressed by something else. The big question is: what was (or is) that something? Lack of fertilizer and bad weather, or something else?