Annabelle not blooming!

smdmtJuly 18, 2007

My neighbor gave me an Annabelle from her yard last spring. It survived our Montana winter and started out beautifully this spring. But, the leaves grew really funky- green veins and white leaves. I sprinkled some alfalfa pellets around the plant and the leaves filled in with all green. AND, it did not produce any blooms. Any ideas, suggestions??


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How big is the plant, I gave my mother in law a layered cutting and it has grown this year, but did not produce any flowers as well.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 1:48PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, smdmt & hydrangealover. I would not be too concerned about the leaf color. Hydrangeas that are subjected to winter protection techniques temporarily have white leaves. This happens when the plant begins to leaf out early, while still covered with leaves (or whatever). The new leaves cannot generate chlorophyl due to the lack of sunlight and they turn white.

To prevent shock or leaf burn, provide the plant some shade (you will have to block the sun somehow) and gradually allow it to get more & more hours of sun. Perhaps start with two hours and increase by one hour every few days until the plant gets the normal amount of sun and the leaves have turned more light greenish.

As for the lack of flowers, this year's flowers would have originated from flower buds developed last fall. Since that was within the plant's first year, it may not have been established yet and decided to use its energies to develop a good root system. Ignore the problem this year, take care of the plant and see what happens next year. I would expect bloomage then. On the first year, it is great if you get them but are not guaranteed.

Like I said earlier, the plants develop the buds in August (approx.) and they bloom in mid-to-late Spring. The time in between is considered 'critical' for flower production so treat the plant well during that time frame. Make sure that it does not dry out or gets too much water. Also, if you do any pruning, do it after the plant has bloomed but before August.

Alfalfa will not do much to hydrangeas since they are not big feeders like roses. Feed it some manure or cottonseed meal in early July every year and that is it. Coffee grounds are optional but quit all feeding in August so the plant goes into dormancy.

Good luck, Luis

Here is a link that might be useful: More Info On Annabelle

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:58AM
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Thanks for the information and the web site! I understand that the Annabelle blooms on new wood, which is ideal for me in a Z4. So I'll be patient and wait for next summer's blooms (I hope!)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 5:18PM
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I planted two Annabelle Hydrangea three seasons ago. First season no blooms, second season only one bloomed big beautiful round blooms the other nothing. This year the one that did not bloom last season is blooming but later and the blooms look like lace caps instead of pompoms. We will see next year. Amy

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:02AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Amy, did you ever see the lacecap-type hydrangrea blooming as an Annabelle (specially when you bought them?).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 2:59AM
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My Annabelle is now 6 years old and has NEVER fully flowered. It always grows, forms flower "heads", starts to bloom, and then the blooms stall and turn green/brown. My neighbor has the same problem with 3 Annabelles. I have not had any problem with my Endless Summer or PeeGee. I am ready to dig up the Annabelle, as mulching, fertilizing and watering strategies have all failed so far. Any clues ??

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:09PM
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That's because you got the wild form of arborescens, not Annabelle. I made that mistake. If it's not fully in bloom when you buy it, you can't be sure it's what the tag says it is. I bought 5 of them last year and that's what happened to me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:32AM
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ten55, thanks for the info. I wondered why my "Annabelle" never looked (form, size, leaf, etc.) much like the others in the area. I just thought it was sick.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:47AM
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Read the 'Annabelle vs. White Dome' thread for more info.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 3:48PM
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