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How to change the color of hydrangeas

How to change the color of hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are tremendously popular shrubs for their spectacular blooms, with large flower heads in bright blue, pink and white colors. However, they are also known because it is possible to change the color of their flowers, so that we can choose what colors we want each plant to adopt. Doing it is not as simple as it seems, but with a few tricks it is within everyone’s reach.

If you want to know how you can change the color of hydrangea flowers to vary between blue hydrangeas, white hydrangeas, pink hydrangeas and, in some cases, even achieve an intense tone that reaches red or maroon, keep reading in this article from Green Ecology showing a guide on how to change the color of hydrangeas.

Is it possible to change the color of a hydrangea?

As we have just said, it is possible to change the color of the flowers. The color of hydrangea flowers depends on the bracts that the plant produces around the much smaller true flowers, and the color of these bracts does not depend on anything other than the soil pHthat is, his level of acidity or alkalinity.

Hydrangeas are plants that usually prefer acidic soils, but can thrive in a wide range of pHs ranging from approximately 4.0 to 8.0giving rise to different colors in these ranges.

Furthermore, it is important to note that experiments changing soil pH should be performed at least 60 days before flowering and that any subsequent changes will no longer have the desired effect on the plant.

If there is a case of color loss in hydrangeas, it is most likely that they need more nutrients or that the pH is changing. Additionally, different varieties of hydrangeas have different natural colors. Although it is possible to modify these colors by altering the pH of the soil, the ideal will be to provide them with an acidic soil, which is also the best way to how to enhance the color of hydrangeas.

How to change the color of hydrangeas to white

Some varieties of hydrangeas give white flowers per se, but it is possible lighten pink or blue hydrangeas to the point where its flowers are almost white.

However, to achieve this it is necessary raise soil pH up to nothing less than a value of 8.0which can also result in a large number of complications for the plant, and it is common for us to see cases of iron chlorosis appear, which can end up causing serious health problems for the plant.

Getting white flowers from other pink or blue flowers is not impossible, but it is very risky and difficult and, therefore, not recommended, since it is not the natural or optimal state of the plant, so it is better to directly acquire a plant from white variety.

How to change the color of hydrangeas - How to change the color of hydrangeas to white

How to get blue hydrangeas

To get the blue hydrangeas back, or if you are simply looking for how to keep hydrangeas bluethe first and most basic step is to get a pH below 5.0, which is the acidic soil that these plants usually need.

To make the earth acidic you can use vinegar for hydrangeas, citric acid or iron sulfate. Once the pH is below 5.0, we can add the homemade hydrangea bluing, which is nothing more than aluminum sulfate. It is enough to dissolve 2 grams of aluminum sulfate per liter of water, and water with this mixture once every 3 days for two months before flowering. If the pH is not acidic enough, or the plant does not have enough aluminum, we will surely have hydrangeas that lose their color.

We recommend you read this other post about the question: Is vinegar good for hydrangeas? We also advise you to know the Care of blue hydrangeas with this guide.

How to change the color of hydrangeas - How to get blue hydrangeas

How to make hydrangeas pink

The pink hydrangeas are the most common to see, since when a hydrangea with another natural color is watered with tap water, which usually has a high lime content, the pH of its soil loses acidity, reaching the point where it rises above 6.0 and the flowers of the hydrangea end up turning pink, even if it was not the natural shade of its variant.

It is possible to increase the pH of the soil by adding calcium nitrate, paprika or wood ash to get the hydrangea to give pink flowers, but keeping it in this state for a long time is not recommended and will endanger the health of the plant, which could suffer from chlorosis. You can also use fertilizer rich in nitrogen and phosphorus and low in potassium, as well as copper sulfate or phytochrome, a natural dye that is quite difficult to obtain.

For all these reasons, again, it is best not to extend the treatment for a long time so as not to damage the plant and, if we really want one, in this case, a pink one, it is best to buy the variety of this tone.

How To Change The Color Of Hydrangeas - How To Make Hydrangeas Pink

How to get maroon hydrangeas

To avoid the loss of color in hydrangeas that occurs whenever the pH of the soil rises, it is possible to add hydrangea bluernamely, aluminum sulfate, but keeping the pH around 6.0 or 6.5. This will lead to red or maroon hydrangeas, or rather a very intense pink, so intense that it can look like this. As always, the hydrangea will end up needing acidic soil to grow healthy, so these practices should not be maintained for a long time on the same plant.

Now that you have learned all this about these plants and the change in the color of their flowers, we encourage you to read our guides on them:

  • How to plant hydrangeas.
  • Hydrangea care.
  • How to care for potted hydrangeas.
  • How to reproduce hydrangeas.
  • How to prune hydrangeas.
How to change the color of hydrangeas - How to get maroon hydrangeas

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