This year may have been terrible for many reasons, but everything has gone right for your backyard hydrangeas.

2024 has been a wacky year. The peculiar weather pattern over the last 12 months left us with an invasion of poisonous caterpillars, a bumper crop of sticky pine cones and a resurgence of wild "strawberries" that you definitely do not want to eat.

Another strange thing has happened, however, that is actually making many backyard gardeners very happy.

Hydrangeas Are Exploding in New York

If you walk around any neighborhood in the Hudson Valley you can't help but notice the incredible blues, pinks and purples of hydrangea plants. Right now, the plants are in full bloom and have more flowers than many people have seen in a lifetime.

We have one small hydrangea plant in our backyard that we never pay attention to. It came with the house over 25 years ago and sits in a shady corner. Some years we may see a flower or two, but we don't ever expect much of this sad little plant that usually just turns into an unassuming bush of leaves.

This year, even our underachieving hydrangea has blossomed into a spectacular show of color.

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A. Boris
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An unbelievable number of blooms have appeared on our little hydrangea that we've never pruned, fed or ever really looked at.

Why are Hydrangeas so Beautiful This Year?

Social media is full of photos of amateur gardeners standing in front of huge hydrangea bushes, taking credit for the enormous, vibrant flowers. I saw one post from a proud homeowner who went on and on touting their hard work and green thumb.

In reality, the success of this year's hydrangea bloom has almost nothing to do with the people who tend after them.

No matter how much attention you give your hydrangeas, their success almost entirely depends on rain and temperature. Plant expert C.L. Fornari recently told the Cape Cod Times that the reason hydrangeas bloom is almost completely out of human hands; "Prayer works as well as anything... (you) might as well sit back and relax and hope for the best."

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Canva
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It turns out that the same weather pattern that has brought us mounds of sticky pine cones and an army of pooping caterpillars has also been perfect for hydrangeas. Steady precipitation throughout the winter has kept the perennials well-fed. A lack of sudden freezes has allowed an incredible number of buds to survive until spring. And, just in time, the recent hot and sunny weather has appeared as those buds bloom into colorful pink, blue and purple flowers.

But just because you had little to do with it, doesn't mean you can't be proud of those beautiful hydrangeas. If you have an especially stunning plant, we'd love to see it. You can send us a photo on our mobile app or post it on our Facebook page.

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