How to Make Your Hydrangeas Bloom

How to Make Your Hydrangeas Bloom

Hydrangea Mantel

 

If the Star Trek Enterprise landed nearby and The Federation decided to whisk Kentuckians away to a newly inhabited planet in a nearby solar system.  And they needed only one plant to start the new ecosystem.

And Captain Kirk asked my opinion….I would tell him to bring hydrangea.

 

 

I mean, I know corn or wheat or barley would be a good choice to feed the masses.

And Mr. Spock might prefer brussels sprouts.

But the hydrangea is a wonder of nature.

 

 

I’ve been a fan of hydrangea for years, but this is certainly not the mutual admiration society.

I adore hydrangea, but they don’t give me the time of day.

Actually, until two months ago we weren’t even speaking…..and all because they would not bloom.

 

I asked local nurseries and the extension office and peppered every available successful hydrangea grower within a 50 mile radius.

And I definitely got plenty of advice.

So…..

(1)  I moved the bushes to a place with more shade.

(2)  I didn’t trim back the dried stalks from the previous year.

(3)  I mulched them in the winter to make sure they didn’t freeze.

 

And I waited.  And waited.  And waited for my hydrangea to bloom.

*crickets*

For two years.

Not a bloom in sight.

 

 

I can even remember stopping by a house with a gigantic hydrangea bush.  It was beautiful and lush with hydrangea blooming on every stalk.  As I walked up to the door I thought this must be how the pilgrims felt when they first glimpsed the new world….because it appeared that this was the pinnacle of hydrangea propagation.

I knew that here….here I would find the answer to my hydrangea dry-spell.

And you know what she told me?  That expert hydrangea owner.  You know what she did to create those incredible hydrangea bushes?  Hydrangea bushes that would make you swoon.  That would make my little non-flowering hydrangea hang its head in perpetual shame and turn to the monkey grass for comfort.

She told me that she…..wait for it…..wait for it….she…..

….she did absolutely NOTHING.

*sigh*

That’s right, absolutely nothing.

How depressing.  It wasn’t fair.  It felt exactly like when I read that Heidi Klum maintained her incredibly svelte model figure after giving birth….by eating cheeseburgers.

I just think that some people have all the luck.

 

 

But I’m not one to take the “nothing” explanation lying down.  I wasn’t going to let something like, “I don’t know.  I don’t really do anything to make my hydrangea bloom” defeat me.

So I Googled.

And I read.  And read.  And read.

And then one day I found something that worked.  Something that made my hydrangea bloom like they had been asked to the senior prom by the star football player.

And it was so simple.

So easy.

And right under my nose all the time.

 

 

Coffee grounds.

Yep.

That simple.

Oh.

And maybe a used tea bag or two.

 

Hydrangea Mantel

 

That’s all it took.

To have baskets and baskets of hydrangea.

Fragrant, incredible, beautiful hydrangea.

Enough to decorate my summer mantel and fill the house with blooms.

 

 

Good thing I figured it out and I’m ready with all my expert hydrangea advice for the Enterprise’s next visit.

Beam me up Scotty and I hope Captain Kirk is a coffee drinker :)

 

PS  If you don’t drink Coffee, I just read that Starbucks gives their coffee grounds away to use for fertilizer.

PPS  I am linking this up over at Funky Jumk!

 

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Comments

  1. I asked a random lady too, she said the same darn thing “nothing”. So I did nothing, that didn’t work either. My shrub won’t even grow let alone bloom. So you better give me the coffee grounds tutorial, and make it snappy before I have to do CPR on mine.

    ~Bliss~

  2. I had trouble with mine for the last couple of years, too. No blooms then two blooms, but this year they exploded. Didn’t do a thing. Love your pink ones and so glad they finally bloomed for you, silly.

  3. I do not have the best of luck with the colored variety of hydrangeas. The white ones I will have masses of blooms because they love the sun. Coffee I can do.

  4. Beautiful blooms, the ones here have been blooming great since we moved in although I think I missed most of the blooming. Thanks for the tip of coffee and tea, I will be using that one.
    Sandy

  5. One of my favorites! It’s so true, I see these homes where everything looks a bit neglected and the Hydrangeas are packed with blooms and I know they are not fussing over it and just letting it be. We added compost from the garden this year and they look better because of it but I will certainly go out there and add the coffee grounds to the soil..
    Thanks for the tip!

  6. I have one measly hydrangea that won’t bloom, it’s in the perfect spot (I think) gets shade & sun (maybe that’s what’s wrong?) but no blooms E-V-E-R! I don’t trim it back or baby it in the winter but it comes back every year…lots of leaves but no beautiful blooms for me to cut and show off. I’m not a coffee drinker so maybe I’ll take my hiney to Starbucks and hang around the back door waiting for those coffee grounds to be thrown out.

    Thanks for the info kiddo (hey, that rhymes!)

    Judy

  7. Your hydrangea is gorgeous! I love the pink color. Great tip. Thank you.

  8. Oh my gosh — mine bloomed for the first time EVER this year! And this is the only year that I did NOTHING to them… I’ll have to try the coffee grounds to ensure blooms moving forward! It’s been a joy to enjoy. :)
    xo Heidi

  9. I’d say well worth the wait… they are a deliciously gorgeous shade of pink. I’ve only ever grown blue/mauve ones but I did hear it depends on the soil as to what colour you get. Congratulations on your beautiful blooms :)

  10. I have a crush on your mantel. I had beautiful hot pink hydrangeas for my homemade wedding bouquet … we’ve had hydrangreas at every house we’ve own. I heart them so. And this Captain Spock will be thrilled he left you in charge of such important decisions. :)

  11. Years ago, when I first planted roses, I babied them. I did everything for those roses, Karianne, and they looked horrible! Once I decided to not baby them and basically ignore them {except for deadheading and clipping any dead branches} they took off beautifully! I could not believe that doing nothing actually gave me better roses! Your post reminded me of that and also that I need to go clip some of the pink blooms from the three hydrangeas I just planted last month! : )

  12. So I thought it was the deer who were eating my hydrangeas…It was that darn Captain Kirk….hmmm…so that was the strange light we saw the other night…..Now do ya think if I added coffee grounds to my hydrangea bush that I could get that GORGEOUS pink color?…They are magnificent!….Love them in those great milk glass containers…perfection!….

  13. Wow! Those are totally stunning, and thanks for the tips {although I’m skeptical…I think even the best flower-growing advice will result in the usual mass-garden-carnage that results from my attempts to grow anything!} :-)

  14. Your hydrangeas are the Heidi Klum of the flower world. Make sure they maintain a healthy weight – you don’t want them comparing their curves to the monkey grass!

    I had to move a hydrangea that I had in our front yard to the side where it gets more shade. It’s thriving now and started blooming the other day. On the other hand, last year, I planted a dozen hydrangeas along my backyard fence and while they are starting to bud a bit, they don’t have that fabulous profusion of blooms I’m dying for.

    I’m not a coffee gal but my hubs is so I will now rip the grounds from his coffee pot (maybe even before he finishes) and sprinkle them like the garden fairy I know I can become!

    And I was going to do a milk glass mantel – had all of it moved from my dining room and everything. But it just wasn’t working – probably because I don’t have your hydrangea coffee thumb! You’ve made me see milk glass needs hydrangeas – like Captain Kirk needs Dr. Spock!
    Kelly

  15. the way i drink coffee, my hydrange we just got yesterday will be lush in no time!

  16. I’m gonna try the coffee grounds on a lacecap I have that only gives a few blooms each year! Thanks for sharing the secret and your beautiful hydrangeas!

    Doreen

  17. Thank you, thank you! I have a hydrangea that just will not bloom and I thought it needed more sun. I am a coffee drinker. How long does it take? Thank you! Joyous Wishes, Linda

  18. Mine took a few years before they bloomed and they were pink. I planted blue hydrangeas and read that you had to have acidic soil or they would be pink. I did nothing to the soil and last year they were a mix of pink and blue. This year they were the beautiful blue that I’d been wanting. They should be called the patience bush. They are my favorite too!

  19. Your mantel and your hydrangeas rock! Absolutely stunning! I just planted my first hydrangea this summer…we’ll see what happens. My mantel is another story…maybe if I had some hydrangeas.

  20. We have a white blossom hydrangea by the front door which get afternoon sun… poor thing! The one out back which gets morning sun and afternoon shade is doing marvelous but the poor thing got hit by a frost this year and died back to the ground but made a brave comeback! You know this is the first year I’ve added coffee grounds to the soil around our hydrangeas and our roses! Yep they both LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful hydrangeas!! I must admit yes I do covet them… so if the blossoms just disappear one night… well I had NOTHING to do with it! Pinky promise!!! We can blame it on Captain Kirk!!! Yeah, yeah that’s it! He is the one who would have come in and clipped all your blossoms! :)

    Have a wonderful week!!

  21. Congratulations! Now, perhaps I’ll try again with my lilacs — the ones other people have to keep under control, which I have managed to kill over the years — two separate times! :)

  22. I am in FL where growing Hydrangeas can be tricky. For a long time I couldn’t even find them here to buy them! Finally this spring I found one and bought it and set it out in the garden (in the pot) to find just the right spot for it…and then forgot about it and it DIED. Turned brown, shriveled up and DIED. I was too lazy to take the pot to the back gate where the trash cans are so I hid the dead plant in its pot behind some taller bushes on the side of the house, figuring someday I’d get to it. Fast forward three months, when I finally got out to work on the yard, and lo and behold, my dead Hydrangea had big beautiful green lush leaves on it!!!!! I did a little happy dance and planted it. Now it’s actually got a BLOOM on it!!! I think I’m going to follow the advice of the woman and “do nothing”. It seems to work best with my work ethic too.

  23. cheeseburgers indeed! The pink hydrangeas are just stunning. I love them too and ours are so pretty this year. I think I will remember the summer of 2012 as the year of the hydrangeas! xo

  24. Your pink hydrangeas are gorgeous, worth the wait! I love your milk glass, too- perfect backdrop for the hydrangeas.

  25. So glad you shared this! I really want my hydrangeas to grow and bloom next year! I just transplanted it a few weeks ago and I’m really nervous that it’s not going to grow.

  26. Oh how I love hydrangeas. When we lived in Virginia we had a beautiful hydrangeas that would produce wonderful flowers. We now live in Pa and when we did landscaping I let the gardner talk me into planting a cousin of the hydrangea. Its just not the same. Pretty but not the same. I love your pink lush hydrangeas. They are beautiful. So happy they finally bloomed and who would of thought coffee would do the trick.

  27. I love Hydrangeas too! The repeat bloomers are my favorite now! I did the same thing you did and finally voila, they bloomed! This year, in Georgia, they bloomed at least a month early due to our extreme heat. Roses, Gardenias and Hydrangeas make such a pretty garden, to me. Yours are GORGEOUS! Pink ones can be so hard to grow too! Congrats!

  28. Yours are the first pink ones I’ve seen in awhile. (I know it has something to do with the soil acidity.) They are absolutely gorgeous.

  29. I mentioned that in a post once. I have done it for years.

    It makes them blue usually – yet yours are majorally pink – odd – but they really love VERY acidic soil.

    But mine aren’t blooming this year much, and it is smaller than normal – so for once it isn’t going so well for me,

    Cute post, glad you found that to work!!

  30. I completely disagree. We should take Orange Gerbera Daisies… That way we’d have more room for Coke Zero and could leave the coffee here…

  31. Oh Kari Anne, this takes my breath away! I love hydrangeas and milk glass. The two together WOW!!! I’m going to try coffee grounds on mine. I have a few that are very short after three years in the ground. They get blooms but they look a little pitiful. Thanks for the tip, Have I mentioned how much I love your blog?

  32. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous! I keep telling myself that I will grow hydrangeas one of these days, but I haven’t done it yet. After seeing your pink ones, I might have to get off my butt and do something to remedy that.

    I love your mantel! I just visited your through Layla’s link party :)

  33. KariAnne, when I saw the first picture in your post, I literally gasped – SO INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL! I am totally in awe of all your gorgeous hydreangea blooms. They’re absolutely breathtaking! My sad little hydrangea plants look like they might have one flower head each this summer. I think the warm week we had in March messed them up. Oh well, if I don’t have my own hydrangeas to admire, I’ll just pop back over to this post every time I need a hydrangea fix :-)

    Thanks for the tip about the coffee grounds. I’ll try that – at this point, I’ll try anything to get some blooms!

  34. Kari Anne, You crack me up!
    You’re mantel is absolutely breath taking. I love hydrangea’s but cant seem to get them to grow. I’ve actually only seen the blue, green and purple ones but these pink ones are soo pretty! Lucky you. love all of the white vase’s as well.

  35. Fabulous post!!! Okay, so we have hydrangea growing all around our gardens and the ones in front are either white or blue, but the bushes in the back produce a deep purple bloom…they are under pine trees. It is all about the acid in the soil. Now I will try the coffee grinds in the front on the white ones to see if I can get them to turn pink like yours. They look lovely in your collection of milk glass by the way.

  36. We don’t have any hydrangeas here, even though they are my absolute favorite flower (plus I’m a secret Trekkie so I’d agree with you on that too!). Between you and Kirby I’m getting my flower fix today!

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

  37. This post and those hydrangeas are enough to turn this tea drinker back into a coffee drinker …

    Wow!

    :)

    Linda

  38. I can only drool. Besides having an almost black thumb, I don’t think they grow here in Phoenix. I just returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest and saw them everywhere, so lovely, even though they taunted me.
    It’s so hot here all my plants are withering, clinging to life, running towards death. Still I repot, it’s a silly cycle.
    Your mantle is so pretty, my milkglass is all empty and sitting the cupboard.
    Just realized I have plenty of “dried” plants I could fill them with :)

  39. Do you mean coffee grounds in the soil, or on top of the soil around the plant? Also do hydrangeas grow in a yard facing west? Sun all afternoon?

  40. Your hydrangea blooms look fantastic displayed in your white dishes on your mantel like that! Love that color pink too. I haven’t seen that color before. Thanks for the advice. I never knew that coffee grounds would do the trick. I’m going to try that. I have 3 purple hydrangea bushes in my backyard. They aren’t as big as I would like and one of them hasn’t bloomed this year while the other two have lots of blooms. Looks like this morning’s coffee grounds will be sprinkled around the bush to see if that helps. I’ll let you know if it works!

  41. Ok….you crazy girl. I’m going the coffee grounds route as per your advice. BUT how much did you use and how often?? :)

    xoxo laurie

  42. What a beautiful display & gorgeous, GORGEOUS photography!! Loving those pink hydrangeas!

  43. I love your mantel all pink and white. And the little quotes alongside. So fun.

    Hydrangeas seem to grow without effort in our area – they like lots of rain and acidic soil, which we’ve got. I prefer the blue blossoms best and heard that if I dug in a rusty nail or two around the base of the plants they become bluer. I don’t know if it works that way, but mine are blue, blue, blue.

  44. Karianne,
    Is that Regular or Decaf?
    dee dee

  45. Oh my goodness these blooms are gorgeous!! Thanks for the coffee ground tip because I asked my husbands to plant me some this year.

  46. Thanks for the advice I’ll give it a go though I think my problem here (Vancouver Island) is lack of sun and warmth and too much rain! Lousy spring/early summer so far, but I have my fingers crossed they will produce flowers yet.

  47. Beth@thedailyparagraph :

    Hydrangeas are my favorite. Love your mantel. All these mantel ideas and I have no mantel !
    Also, thank you for the coffee idea.

  48. OK so at the risk of sounding dumb (because I am dumb when it comes to any flowers), what did you do with the coffee grounds EXACTLY… when, where why, how? :-)

  49. Incredible pictures! We can’t have hydrangeas here because the elk love to eat them. They will come from far and wide to eat our hydrangeas right down to the ground. Yours are awesome, and who knew they just needed a caffeine boost!

  50. See, I thought for sure you were going to say that our fellow Kentuckians were spittin’ their chewin tobaccy on them. :)

  51. I don’t have much luck with them either and they are one of my favorite flowers. I will definitely try your coffee grounds trick. Thanks.
    Sam

  52. lol! and if you want your roses to be happy, sprinkle them with epsom salts and bury two banana peels under each bush. Sounds like witchery doesn’t it??

  53. OH MY! If this will really work…I will so LOVE you to pieces!! I have moved my hydrangeas 3 times. Finally got a good shady spot and have been so thrilled over 1 bloom! That’s it – 1 lousy bloom! Girl,,,,I am going to spread those coffee grounds everyday. I will keep you posted! happy dance..
    ~betty

  54. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I LOVE the color and how you’ve displayed them … they pop beautifully against your white pieces. I hope the Enterprise doesn’t steal your fabulous collection! LOL

  55. This is so pretty, and what a gorgeous shade of pink your hydrangeas are–just lovely!

  56. WOW… I love your mantel and your hydrangeas!!!
    I have hydrangeas, but blue.
    I will put coffee grounds on mine!
    I planted them last year, so they are still medium size bushes…
    My mom is visiting and she drinks coffee, so perfect timing!!!
    You made me LAUGH!!!
    I would bring CORN!!! LOL

  57. These hydrangeas are just beautiful I love the colour and yes I think it would be a great idea to take the off to a new planet…………………….

  58. Oh wow! What gorgeous blooms. The way you have them displayed in all the pretty milk glass containers is just wonderful. I don’t do well without my coffee either. What a great tip. Definitely pinning these.

  59. I’m patiently waiting for 2 small hydrangeas to grow and offer up some colourful blooms. My large white one must be about 10 feet wide by now and will soon be in all of its blooming beauty. Your pink ones are gorgeous!
    -Karen

  60. Beautiful! I’ll take one of those wrapped and ready to go please! Angie xo

  61. I am going to start heading to my local Starbucks and begging for used coffee grounds!!! I would love to have hydrangeas as beautiful as yours, but sadly, everything I touch, dies. Still, one more try won’t hurt ;)

  62. I have two, right next to each other…and one is full of blooms and the other has none. Odd

  63. Those are some gorgeous hydrangea! Even though we live in the desert, I had a really little plant at our previous home (also in the desert), & that plant had a very teeny little bloom. It wasn’t much but enough to give me hope & the desire to try planting one here at our new house. We haven’t figured out our landscaping yet, but I keep looking for spots that get lots of shade. Hmmm, I think we have to plant more trees….lol! Love that beautiful pink color of your hydrangea, but I have yet to see a color I didn’t like! I have hydrangea envy!
    CAS

  64. i just read about this somewhere! do the coffee grounds have to be used or fresh or doesn’t it matter?
    your hydrangeas look so pretty as do your photos!

  65. I love Hydrangeas – it’s Hortensia in spanish and that was my amazing godmother’s name! I found the buggers to be VERY thirsty and I water and water them to keep the blooms blooming longer!

    We also put all the yucky leaves from the pool cover when we open the pool around the roots. I’m definitely going to try the coffee grounds too!

    thanks for sharing your beautiful blooms!

    gena

  66. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was just about going nuts wondering why it wouldn’t bloom this year! :-)

  67. Hydrangea’s are my all time favorites and yours are such amazing specimens! I love the pink! Thanks for sharing the secret to success with these beauties

    If Capt. Kirk gives you any trouble with you choice you just let me know, I am so with you on that!

  68. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous, I love them too. I have several hydrangea plants and all seem to do fairly well but I know exactly what I’ll be doing with my coffee grounds from now on!

    The way you displayed your flowers on the mantel is stunning, they just sing.

  69. really gorgeous colors, karianne! mine grow well, the colors are so pale compared to yours:(

  70. Wow! Your hydrangeas are beautiful! I love the pink. I have blue, but again only 2 blooms on the whole bush and I’ve never gotten more. I’m off to to the coffee grounds thing… Are you posting a tutorial? How much do you use and how often?
    Thanks so much!
    Susan
    Homeroad

  71. THIS IS MY FAVORITE MANTLE EVER.

    Capital letters required. I want to swim in those hydrangeas. I want to smell them. I want to own them. This whole vignette makes my heart sing. I’m pinning/sharing the life out of this whole post and you can’t stop me.

  72. If I added coffee to mine, the deer would have a complete breakfast ;)

    Looks lovely. Simply lovely Kari!!

  73. :) I thought you just might be saying ‘coffee grounds’!! My husband puts ours out on our plants :)

  74. Absolutely stunningly gorgeous! I love your pretty in pink mantel! How lucky to be able to grow hydrangeas – it’s too cold where we are and they won’t grow!
    Jo-Anna

  75. They’re beautiful, Karianne! I’m getting ready to plant some soon and if I know me, mine won’t bloom either! At least now I’ll know the secret and I won’t have to feel guilty about my ever growing coffee addiction! Thank you! I now feel much better about myself! ;)

  76. who woulda thought?! I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that, but I’m no master gardener! Yours are beautiful, and I can only imagine the smell in your home!

  77. Absolutely gorgeous Karianne! Your mantel should be in Country Living next MONTH! I mean next week really if they were smart before someone else sees it! Amazing. Great tip too. Coffee grinds huh who knew?

  78. We were fortunate to buy a home with a thirty year old Nikko Blue and it blooms a lot. I have been layering baby specimens from it and now have what I jokingly call a hydrangea lab going. I am so glad you were persistent and did not give up. Your pink blooms are lovely and I hope you are drying them too.

  79. And it was worth all the effort in finding out why they did not blom. Your hydrangeas look picture perfect. What a gorgeous pink!!!! You made such a pretty stage on you mantle for them. They look so happy in those white vases!!!!
    This is the perfect post to participate in TUTORIALS, TIPS AND TIDBITS, my brand new linky party starting Wednesday night at 8:00 . You have given some important tips to so may people who have hydrangea-less bushes! Hope to see you there!

  80. WOW. Those are some beautiful blooms. I am not a coffee drinker but my husband is. Now when he is trailing coffee ground drippings on the way to the garbage can, I’ll refrain from yelling at him and offer to take care of them for him…he doesn’t need to know it’s for my own selfish purposes, right?

  81. My two small hydrangea bushes are just now blooming, but so far, I’ve had blooms every year (for the past 3-4 years that I’ve had the bushes). I’m going to try the coffee grounds idea to see if I get more blooms though! Supposedly, the grounds work for azaleas too.

  82. Becky in SC :

    Yours are gorgeous. So, are you going to share how you did it? Alot? A little? How often? That would be helpful.

  83. Absolutely beautiful…from one trekkie to another!

  84. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! I had to pin it! :)

  85. I am a major Hydrangea lover. I go back and forth between cutting them back and some years doing nothing. I had a big one from my old house in a pot because there was no shady place on the ground in my teeny tiny backyard. I transplanted it when we moved to the shadiest spot and it is HUGE now. I would cover every shady spot in my backyard with Hydrangeas if I had my way. There are some gorgeous new hybrids out there too, but I am little nervous to try, I have had so much success with my Mopheads. They do love their acid, and I am not buying that stuff anymore. Coffee Grounds from Starbucks is going on my grocery list. Thanks for such a great tip!!!

  86. I’ve just started using coffee grounds this past month. I sure hope it works!
    Brenda

  87. I know you’re at Haven so I hope you read this at some point. I think we are kindred souls…I too have hydrangeas that don’t bloom and it breaks my heart every summer. I am so hopeful in the spring…and then bam. Summer rolls around and all my high hopes are dashed. When do you apply the coffee grounds and how much do you use?

  88. Your hydrangeas are beautiful and I love the pink! I have two blue ones that, yes, I do nothing to and both get more than 6 hours of sun a day and love it! So far I haven’t messed with the soil ph to change color, but I will one year. White hydrangeas, often called “snowball bush”, stay white regardless of soil ph if they are in fact a hydrangea. I’ve read that there are some newer types out like the red that does not depend on soil ph. I would love a “Limelight”! Oh, the possiblities – love all types of them!

  89. That is amazing!!! My 88 year old Mom who was born and raised on a farm could tell you all about growing corn / vegetables/ etc. etc. …. but she was not a “flower” person at all… BUT FUNNY THING…. when we were growing up… my Mom would walk out the back door at the end of the day and empty all the coffee grounds and “loose Tea” leaves all around… none other than…. YEP…. Her beautiful .. glorious …. amazing Hydrangeas!!!! Huge blooms in the most amazing color of blue / violet I have ever seen!!!!! So, apparently this is an old yet reliable way of “blooming!!” LOL :)

  90. Shut the front door!!! Seriously? Okay so how often and how much? Inquiring minds want to know :-)
    (((Hugs))
    Anne

  91. Your hydrangeas are beautiful! I just snipped some myself yesterday. Thanks for these much-needed tips because mine were looking pretty sad for a while.

    Jeanine

  92. Seriously? Coffee grounds? Ok, looks like I’ll be brewing pots of coffee from here to kingdom come now (and I don’t even drink coffee)!

    I, too, have tried everything. I even tried doing nothing. Last year was the first year I had a ton of blooms. This year I only see 1 tiny one so far, at the bottom of the bush. This thing has been driving me nuts since we planted it 12 years ago. Ok…coffee grounds it is! Thanks.

  93. Beautiful! where are my coffee grinds? I need them!

  94. Kari,
    It was such a huge pleasure to meet you and you perfect eyebrows at Haven. I am such an admirer of your writing style and now that I’ve met you, I know you are the real deal. Your photographs of those gorgeous hydrangea blooms are to die for. So glad you found the secret. Our soil must already be acidic where my bush is. I have beautiful blooms that are deep purple (not blue.) We have been going to Starbucks for the past 3 years and getting lots of coffee grounds to put in our compost bin. They throw big bags of the grounds into our truck, and give our dog Lucy a “pup cup” of cream.

  95. Are you KIDDING me with these photos?? They are GORGEOUS! And your house! And your mantel!

    I swoon.

    No kidding.

    You are amazing my friend.

    (wait, was this one of the professional photographer days?) LOL!

  96. Your blog is fun to read. I especially like to read it after meeting you.

  97. This is a fabulous post. I look forward to seeing you at My Dream Canvas for my backyard party :-)

  98. Thanks for sharing this post on Shabbilicious Friday Karianne. You are being featured tomorrow :)

  99. i have the same situation going on with my crepe mrytle. No love, I have done everything i could think of, but reading your article i am going to give it some coffee. Just maybe….
    The hydrangeas are on my fall planting list. I love them!!

  100. Happy Pink Saturday, KariAnne. GIrl, you have put me in pink hydrangea birthday bliss. What more could I want?!!!♥♥♥

  101. Very pretty! Happy Pink Saturday.

    Come join my Color Connection meme, it is also my PINK entry. Hope you join the fun!

  102. I LOVED your post…your hydrangeas are amazing…your vases and mantle are amazing and I am so excited to try this tip. I just planted a bush this year and it is doing so bad…it needs some help!!
    Thank you for sharing all this beauty!
    xo Tami

  103. Your hydrangeas are gorgeous! Such a bountiful harvest! At our old house I had a hydrangea bush that required no care at all. I did nothing and it bloomed every year and was so gorgeous with flowers all summer long. Then we lived for three years in a place no hydrangea should ever go – given the weather – but I planted one close to my front door where it would be sheltered from the snow, forgot to mulch, forgot to cover it, forgot to make it cozy for the winter and it bloomed it’s little head off! Now, I am back in CA where I planted them again and the dumb things just looks at me like I’m the one not doing my job! No flowers, no buds, no bueno! So, since I’m not a coffee drinker, I shall go to Starbucks and beg for some coffee grounds to see if I can coax this stubborn thing to bloom! Thanks for the tip!
    Robin

  104. Karianne,

    Your hydrangeas are amazing! I am trying this, we have quite a few hydrangea bushes and a lot of coffee grounds so I am giving it a try :) Hopefully mine will look even close to this great!

    xo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

  105. The Flamingo Kid :

    This is the most annoying article I have ever read. Does this person write children’s books or what? The entire article seemed as though it was written by someone who reads too many picture books to their preschoolers. Next time, write at an adult level, please.

  106. Beautiful blooms! Thanks for the tip I am going to try and cross my fingers. I also love your collection of milk vase.

  107. So, I’m left wondering…. regular or decaf??? Hmmm… Love this idea and I have noticed the “free grounds” sign @ Starbucks; so, what the heck!! I’ve got several hydrangeas, and I think they just want a “cuppa joe”. I can do that. Thanks for the tip ;)

  108. Sandy Bilpuch :

    I sm desperate, no blooms. I willtry coffee grounds, but how much and how often? Thanks.

  109. They do love the cool shade. I have many in different colors. I have to tweak the soil to get them that way though. If you go to Home Depot or most garden places, they carry a soil and/or a “add-to water” mix that makes them blue. If you want deep, deep purple ones, go to a metal shop and ask for the metal shaving leftovers. Add those liberally to the soil before planting and the rust will work it’s wonders. If I left mine alone, they would all be pink or pale wine colored. Oh, and put Miracle grow or Epsom salt on when you water to fertilize.

  110. KariAnne, you’re lucky! I’ve learned the same trick years ago before I actually plan my hydrangeas. A friend said fertilize hydrangeas with coffee ground and loose Tea leaves it will turn blue color to pink. I started planning my hydrangeas last year. It was blue BLOOM when I first bought it. I plan it in BIG pot. I live in Oklahoma. I did anything that I suppose to do during last winter. I start fertilize hydrangeas with coffee and Tea twice a week this spring when I first see some green leaves coming out from the branch and root… I water it once a day. I keep the pot in a shade of my court yard. It has mid-morning sun from 10 AM until 3:00 PM… After 5 months to babysit it…. I got …. nothing other than Healthy and Bushy Green leaves. What did I miss? I’m so depressed…. SOS

  111. Wow, nice pictures, glad your hydrangeas are blooming. How could you not love hydrangeas!!

    check out mine this year…
    Blooming Hydrangeas

  112. I have massive hydrangea envy. your blooms are breathtaking. I’m considering planting a hydrangea and was worried about my shady garden but this post has helped decide me.
    Thank you!

  113. jeanne flynt :

    I too love hydrangeas, we recently took holiday in New Zealand. Couldn’t believe my eyes, while on the north island wild hydrangeas and agapanthus growing everywhere it was incredible.

  114. Just saw this post and went right out and put coffee grounds around my hydrangea! I really hope it works. I do drink quite a bit of coffee so that will be an easy thing to come by. I have had my hydrangea for about 5 years. It is in my front yard close to the house and only gets a little direct sunlight in the morning, then just indirect light the rest of the day. It is quite finicky and hasn’t always bloomed well every season. I live in Illinois and if it gets really hot it looks droopy and sad until I give it a big drink of water. This year we had a really good spring with plenty of rain and so far this summer have had mild weather with only a handful of hot days. It currently has about 7 really pretty deep pink blooms on it. It isn’t very large yet considering I’ve had it since 2009. About 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. I don’t know a lot about the growth habit and how long they take to get really large. In the winter I don’t cut it back at all. I really don’t even mess with it except to water it and give it flower food once in a while. I saw somewhere on a craft site where they took an old bowling ball and glued pennies all over it as a different take on gazing balls for your garden or flower bed. As an side in that article they said that if you place the ball close to hydrangeas the copper will effect the soil and make the hydrangeas more blue. Well I just threw a few around there with my coffee grounds so we will just see if that is true or not. Thank you so much for your advice on how to make them bloom. I am excited and really hope it works as they make great cut flowers for your house. They just make you happy and really cheer up any space…………..no matter the color!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Kari Ann at  Thistlewood Farms [...]

  2. [...] beautiful photo is from a blog post at Thistlewood Farms about how to make your hydrangeas bloom (it’s a great tip! Check it out!) – but what I see [...]

  3. [...] The biggest problems hydrangea gardeners have is lack of bloom… This is usually caused by one of three things… a late freeze, using a variety that is not intended for your climate, or pruning too much of the old wood away. KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms has a mantel full of beautiful blooms that convince me she’s found the secret! Check out her advice on getting hydrangeas to bloom. [...]