We live in southern Quebec. We bought a hydrangea panic ulama tree last year and the blooms were beautiful. I pruned the blooms off in the winter as they were falling off. This year the tree grew leaves but there are no blooms. Is this normal in the first year after planting. We have nice dirt. It is in full afternoon sun. We water it every night in spring and summer.
Your Hydrangea paniculata is not blooming in its first year and this is probably not a problem in the long term. Plants take time to adjust to the new environment of our real gardens. You seem to have met the requirements for sun/ shade and watering. Would you consider an annual mulch although you say your soil is rich already.
Hydrangea have different pruning needs depending on the type. Your particular one should be pruned in the early Spring just after the buds burst. I wonder if you took the flower heads off in winter and considered that enough. Flowers appear on new growth. Pruning makes a big difference with Hydrangea.