One of the most dramatic flowers of summer are hydrangeas. They are great cut flower and last longer most which make them a favorite for simple or elaborate arrangements. Hydrangeas can be dried for crafts like wreaths (gorgeous) or even used to create a chic Christmas tree. They are probably the most beautiful in the garden when the bushes are overflowing with blooms June – Sept depending on climate.

One of the most amazing thing about hydrangeas (the broad leaf type) is that you can change the colors. This only works with the pink, purple and blues.

The color of hydrangeas range from scarlets and dark pink to deep blue and every shade in between. The shade depends on the amount of aluminum in the soil plus the pH level.

  • The higher acidity level plus more aluminum creates blues.
  • More alkaline and less aluminum will produce pink or reds.

To check your soil pH purchase a kit from a garden center.

Changing the color of hydrangeas by changing the pH and aluminum in soil.

  • Start with established pants since changing the soil can cause stress.
  • If you’d like your flowers to be pink add Dolomitic lime (calcium magnesium carbonate) to the soil and test pH not going over 4.5 to 5.5.
  • If you’d like blue flowers add aluminum sulfate.

Both additives can be purchased at any garden center. The aluminum sulfate is diluted in water usually 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.

After one season the colors will start changing. It takes a couple of years or more to get a deep blue or deep pink from the opposite color. Meanwhile, the flowers change into beautiful shades of purples, reds and pinks. You really can’t lose.

Search online for alternative ideas such as using vinegar or coffee to raise acidity. There are a lot of creative ideas using ingredients from home.

Happy gardening.

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