Hydrangeas Part 4: Wardrobe Change

Many varieties of hydrangeas are susceptible to changing colors (the Hydrangea macrophylla cultivars like Nikko Blue for example) and this can be seen in the florist specimens around Easter and Mother’s day with ranges from pink to lilac to amethyst to aubergine. But these arrays of colors can be achieved in the home garden as well.

The quintessential blue of hydrangeas is not only genetic, but also enhanced by an acidic (less than 7 on the pH scale) soil. A more alkaline or basic soil (greater than 7 on the pH scale) will boast shades of pinks to red for your specimens. Tampering with the soil’s micronutrients, like aluminum sulfate, will influence your hydrangea hues as well. Natural remedies, such as coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and pine bark, can sway the soil’s acidity, along with some fertilizers for acid loving plants. Just be sure to water well whenever you fertilize! Depending on anomalies and pockets of nutrients in your garden soil’s layers, you can have multi-colored flowers on the same plant.

What a satisfaction to admire your blooming plants in the garden and bring them indoors as well…especially when some plants, like hydrangeas, can offer a myriad of shades, tints, and tones for personal color schemes!

photography by Delaney Holliman