Hydrangea Colors

Hydrangeas often change color on their own when they are planted or transplanted. They are adjusting to the new environment. It is not unusual to see several different colors on one shrub the next year after planting.
It is much easier to change a hydrangea from pink to blue than it is from blue to pink. Changing a hydrangea from pink to blue entails adding aluminum to the soil. Changing from blue to pink means subtracting aluminum from the soil or taking it out of reach of the hydrangea.

It would be nice if one could change the color of hydrangeas as easily as it changes in the main page slideshow But for most of us, it is not easy

How can Hydrangea change colors?

The people who have the most control over the color of their hydrangeas are those who grow them in containers on a farm. It is much easier to control or alter the pH of the soil in a container than it is in the ground.

But there are some limitations to changing the colors of hydrangeas in a natural way:

  • White Hydrangeas can NOT be changed to pink or blue by the grower.
  • If the farm is located in a hot climate, it is unlikely you will ever see a “true red” hydrangea. No matter how convincing those pictures in the catalogs are or how much lime is added to the soil, one can only achieve a very deep or dark pink, but not a true red (at least if the farm is here, in the Southern U.S. but we would love to hear from you if you have a different experience).
  • One can rarely change the intensity of a color (how strong or pale the color is). The intensity develops for a number of reasons: the heredity of a particular hydrangea variety, weather conditions (hot or cold, humid or dry), health of the plant, and possibly other natural factors. Fertilizing hydrangeas once or twice a year may result in a little more saturated color simply because the health of the plant may be improved.
  • A few varieties of hydrangeas tend more toward the pink or the blue range of colors, but will not retain even this color if soil conditions are not right.

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