Hydrangea not growing
I've cross-posted on this and the Hydrangea forum, so if you've been there and have seen my post, I apologize.
I have two small hydrangea that were already planted when we bought our house. We've been here four years, and I think these hydrangea have been here at least 6 years, but they are extremely small. Every year, I wait for them to grow and it just doesn't happen.
What could be the reason?
What kind of fertilizer should I use on them? I have slow-release Miracle Gro for Flowers and Vegetables. Is that the best kind, or is there something else I should get?
I also have a blue lace-cap that was huge two years ago. Last year, the late freeze in April killed all the blooms, so we didn't get any, and the drought that we're in didn't help any, I'm sure. It died back over the winter, but I didn't prune it because I was afraid to do anything to further traumatize it. Of course, the leaves have always died back every winter and it has come back just as big as the year before.
This year, it has come back, but is much smaller than ever before; however, it does have blooms. I've left all the older branches, wondering whether or not it is going to go ahead and put out leaves sometime later this summer.
Do I need to go ahead and remove the dead and just let it grow from where it already has new growth?
Does it need fertilizer (I've never fertilized it before and it's been gorgeous until last summer) and if so, what kind for it?
Thanks for all your help!