Big Leaf Hydrangeas- Blue or Pink
Hydrangeas, it always seems like we want what is hard to get. If your garden turns them pink, you want them blue, and if they naturally turn blue in your garden you want them pink. Does this sound familiar?
Bigleaf hydrangeas are naturally pink in most cases, but if you are (in my opinion) fortunate enough to have aluminum in your soil you will have blue flowers. Just a note, it is easier to turn pink hydrangeas blue than to turn blue hydrangeas pink. So to answer the question how do I turn my hydrangeas…?
Pink…you are going to want to have soil that is lacking aluminum. To do so you can add lime to your surrounding area several times a season. This will raise the pH of the soil making it harder for the plant to soak up the aluminum. Also you can use fertilizer or product called “Turn me Pink” that is high in phosphorus which also makes it harder for the plant to absorb the aluminum which turns the flower blue. If you still are having a hard time keeping or turning your plant pink you can dig a large hole and place a large container in the ground. Fill the container with potting soil and plant your hydrangea into it. Using a neutral soil will help keep the plant from turning.
Blue… It is easier to turn your Hydrangea blue with these few helpful tips. For your plant to turn blue you will need to have a lower pH soil. You can naturally lower then pH by mixing in organic matter such as leaves, coffee grounds, and fruit and veggie remains. Once your pH is lowered you can add aluminum sulfate to the surrounding area. Aluminum sulfate is the substance that turns the flowers blue. You can purchase aluminum sulfate or a product called “Turn me Blue” to help you achieve a blue flower. If you have had to do soil manipulation to get your hydrangeas to turn blue this may be a process that will continually need to be repeated depending on how much phosphorus is in your soil along with the natural pH of your soil and the water that you are using to keep your plants alive.
On a side note… if you have white hydrangeas, they cannot be ‘turned’ blue or pink. Some white hydrangeas, such as Hardy Hydrangeas, will naturally take on pink hues as the flowers mature and age. This is not a process that can be changed as that is their natural habit.