Does hydrangea bloom every year? Pros spill the dirt on the "garden favorite" and when to expect it

You love the gorgeous floral, but does hydrangea bloom every year? Take notes, gardeners

A hand holding a mint watering can watering blue hydrangeas in a garden
(Image credit: Getty Images/Catherine Falls Commercial)

If you're a gardener wondering, "Does hydrangea bloom every year," we have all the intel on the floral showstopper, including whether or not to expect it every 12 months. 

As the weather gets warmer and you begin to prep your space for beautiful blooms, it's important to learn about each variety you're planting and whether you're working with an annual or a perennial, a seemingly tiny detail that can actually uproot your garden plans (pun intended).

Since caring for hydrangeas is on everyone's gardening to-do list, allow our pros to provide their knowledge and maintenance tips for #GardenTok-worthy results. 

Does hydrangea bloom every year?

When planting hydrangeas, you can expect them to bloom every year, as they are perennials (meaning, they live more than two years). However, the way to ensure these floral favorites continually stun and come back year after year, is caring for them properly.

"By creating the right growing conditions and consistently caring for your hydrangeas, you can enjoy their beautiful blooms each year," says Autumn Janus, marketing coordinator and horticulturist at Perfect Plants Nursery

"It is essential to select varieties that are well-suited for your particular climate. Additionally, providing the appropriate amount of sunlight and water is crucial."

These lovelies enjoy sunlight for about four to six hours per day — be careful that the strong afternoon sun doesn't burn their petals — and need a rich, well-drained soil that's not waterlogged. Don't forget to plant them far enough apart for their roots to grow sufficiently, and select the proper type to ensure repeats in your small garden

"If you’re looking for reliable perennials, plant varieties like Bigleaf or Panicle hydrangeas," says Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal says of the "gardening favorite."


Why didn't my hydrangea bloom this year?

If your hydrangeas are not getting the proper amounts of sunlight and water, they might not bloom. Or, if you made a few mistakes during the off-season, it's possible that it had adverse effects later on. 

"Stressors such as excessive pruning, drought, or soil nutrient deficiencies can cause hydrangeas to forgo blooming for the season," Autumn adds. "Proper pruning techniques must also be implemented. It is crucial to protect the plants from harsh winter conditions that may damage the old wood."

Our expert-backed advice on when to prune hydrangeas will help you find the proper timeframe, given the variety you're working with, and our step-by-step guide for how to protect plants from frost will ensure that whatever happens in your garden during the winter won't hinder your spring blooms. 

Will hydrangeas come back every year?

Yes, hydrangeas are perennials that will come back each year. However, there are exceptions here and there. 

"Selecting a hydrangea that is not typically suitable for your climate may result in it behaving like an annual," Autumn says. 

An annual is a plant that completes its entire life cycle in one year, with the sole goal of spreading its seed to product new plants, rather than coming back itself the next year.

Meanwhile, going the container gardening route and opting to grow hydrangeas in pots or raised flower beds might possibly result in annuals instead, depending on your locale.  

"For those in colder climates who treat them as annuals, consider container planting which allows for controlled environments," Gene says. 

How do I get my hydrangeas to bloom all summer?

When it comes to getting your hydrangeas to bloom all summer, you have to look at the variety you're working with to see its specific needs. On a general note, you should be concerned with the flower's light source, hydration, and fertilization needs, which are all necessary in order for them to bloom properly (and frequently). 

By honing in on specifics, you'll be able to get advice on pruning, soil, deadheading and pruning your particular type of hydrangea, which might also impact the way in which its flowers grow. 

What to shop

If your hydrangeas need TLC, make sure you're working with the appropriate tools. 

Prices were correct at the time of publication. 

Meet our experts

Autumn Janus
Autumn Janus

Autumn is a marketing coordinator and horticulturist at Perfect Plants Nursery, and she has a passion for helping people create beautiful outdoor spaces. With four years of experience in the industry, she has developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in plant care, landscape design, and gardening best practices.

Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is a co-founder of Green Pal, a platform connecting customers to lawn care experts in their area throughout the United States. With such diverse areas to cover, Gene is well-versed in specific greenery needs for various environments. 

Next, learn why your hydrangeas are drooping, or delve into learning how to propagate hydrangea plants to give yourself a freebie bloom to enjoy.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.