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If you’ve ever wanted to turn your pink hydrangeas to blue or blue to pink, the secret is in the soil! This post covers the fertilizers and conditions (some DIY, some you can buy) that help hydrangeas change color.
The beginning of summer is one of my favorite times of year. The days stretch, my spring allergies finally start to subside, and I get really excited to tackle more of my to do list (yet somehow, still make it longer). But, I think my favorite thing of all is when the hydrangeas start growing in.
I may not like how spindly they look during the winter months (because they turn into depressing bundles of sticks), but when their beautiful mophead blooms return, I’m always reminded that they’re worth their winter ugliness!
(By the way, this post includes affiliate links* — I only recommend products I love, but linking to affiliates provides me the essential things I require to write this blog… like beer money.)
The hydrangeas are all growing in taller and healthier than ever. When spring rolls around, they form new leaves and buds that branch off from their existing stalks, so I resist the urge all winter long to not trim down the sickly-looking branches in order to reap the rewards when things start to bloom again. This year, my patience really paid off, and the ones in the back yard against the house have seen the biggest benefit (they were petite back in 2013 when I planted them). In 2016, they looked like this:
And in 2019, they grow out of control, especially around the new deck!
Since I have three healthy plants of the same type which bloom and rebloom all summer long — I think this will be the first year that I try to propagate new ones from the existing plants. I’ve just bought some root hormone, so I’ll create a tutorial on that for you in a month or so if I manage to actually make them grow (I may have enough dead or dying plants in my gardening history to be Tim Burton’s botanist, but I’m getting better each year!).
The one in the front yard flowers in shades of blue, but the ones in the back of the house tend to grow in pink and purple. They are all the same variety, but the color of the flowers are determined by one simple secret: it’s the acidity in the soil.
How to Change Pink Hydrangeas Blue
You can enrich blue hydrangea coloring with soil fertilizers (this one for blue), or you can try some home remedies (I sprinkled the soil in the back with coffee grounds over the winter to help increase acidity, but it may take a few seasons to see a true color change). The pine straw that I’ve had naturally falling around the plants also increase acidity.
How to Make Blue Hydrangeas Pink
Conversely, if you want to change your blue or purple hydrangeas to a pink hue, you can do so with a separate soil fertilizer like this one. Garden lime is pretty much the only way when the soil is too acidic and it’s changing blue on its own (you would do well to remove the things that might
With either change, it’s going to take time for the color to change. Be patient! However, I will add that fertilizers tend to change things more quickly and more vividly. I (obviously) prefer the more natural approach to their care, so I only use coffee grounds and pine straw. In fact, I love the huge variety of color I now get!
Want to see more? Check out the video:
Other plants have also been growing like crazy around the front and back yards, but that will be for a future time. For now, I’ve got to get back to work on updating the area around the A/C unit; I’ll have new pictures up in just a day or two!
How about you? What’s blooming in your yard this month?
More Hydrangea Guides & DIY Ideas
*A quick word on “affiliate links” and my reference to them: you will see me often disclosing that I’m using “affiliate links” in posts when recommending products; all this means is that if you click and buy that product as a referral from my site, I am compensated — usually just cent or two at a time — for having linked to the thing I’m talking about. Basically, it’s just a means of earning an income for something I’m already doing (i.e. completing projects and explaining what I use to accomplish them), but this doesn’t impact or increase the cost of the items purchased. If you read blogs regularly, these disclosures may get a little repetitive at times; laws in the U.S. & around the world now require the use of both specific language and specific placement within content. These things are always changing, too, kind of like the adulting version of Simon Says. I’ll try my best to make it entertaining enough for you guys that it stays fresh. So this time, “thanks for the beer money” — it keeps me writing and far more enjoyable around my friends and family (which means they thank you, too). x0x0