How To Change The Color Of Hydrangea Flowers
I love color and I love it because I know what it is to live without it for months on end as all Nebraskans know.
So during those few months where color grows straight out of your garden, why not have some power in deciding exactly which color will shine in the summer sun.
To achieve the color palette of your dreams, you’ll need a garden filled with hydrangea macrophylla also known as mopheads and lacecaps or just commonly known as Hydrangeas.
These hydrangeas can be altered to your specifications by simply changing the pH levels of your soil, and before you go to clench your pocketbook, changing the pH levels of your soil does not require a chemistry degree.
All that you’ll need is lime or sulfur from your neighborhood garden store where you will also want to purchase a soil testing kit to see exactly where your garden’s pH balance falls.
Alternatively for ease you can get all items here:
Your soil test kit will come with an assortment of vials and tablets designed to test your soil.
While you can test your pH balance any time, specialists recommend fall or early spring as it allows you time to make necessary adjustments for your desired color.
If you are within the six to seven range, your hydrangeas will vary from purple to a bluish pink.
Below six means that your soil is acidic which will result in a blue or lavender blue tint.
Above seven will yield red and pink hydrangeas due to your soil being more alkaline than acidic.
How To Change The pH Of Soil:
Never fear if your soil is too acidic for your liking or too alkaline for your home. Changing the pH of your soil is actually quite easy.
If your soil is too acidic, you’ll need ground lime. Simply sprinkle half a cup over the soil under your hydrangeas and add water.
This drops the acid level which will result in pink and red hydrangeas.
Similarly, to raise the acid level you will sprinkle garden sulfur over the soil and water.
This combination will yield blue and lavender blooms. These are by far my favourite colors.
DIY Ways To Change The pH levels Of Soil:
Now, if you really don’t feel like buying a bag of garden sulfur or lime, there are a few homemade tricks for penny pinchers like myself.
- Composted oak leaves, pine needles, or coffee grounds will produce blue flowers.
- Wood ashes, lime, or fertilizers with high levels of phosphorus (a ratio of 25-10-10 is best) will prevent aluminum from entering the plant’s system resulting in pink flowers.
This is not a quick fix process. Altering a hydrangeas chemical balance can take months and it is much easier to change pink hydrangeas to blue than blue to pink.
Also take note, that white hydrangeas will not change, they are the rebels of the hydrangea family, so if you want a nice highlight within your rainbow of pinks, reds, blues, and purples plant a few white hydrangeas in with the others.
Before planting, ensure that you have the room for their massive flower heads.
You will see your effort come to life in mid-summer and thrive through the changing of leaves in the fall, so you will want to plant them in the spring and water them thoroughly.
You will notice wilting leaves if the soil becomes too dry.
Don’t get too wrapped up in the science of color, enjoy your garden for the beautiful piece of art that it is and that you created.
Take time every morning to breath in its scent and gaze at the colors, forgetting, just for a moment that job that you need and those errands you must do. Life is short, enjoy the little things.
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