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How to change the color of hydrangeas

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Tips on how to change the color of pink and blue hydrangeas.

  Hydrangeas are a fascinating plant. The flower colors range from pink to blue, covering a spectrum of shades in between the two. Did you know you can change the color of your hydrangeas? Here's how.

 Hydrangea flowers


Hydrangeas are a fascinating plant. The flower colors range from pink to blue, covering a spectrum of shades in between the two. Did you know you can change the color of your hydrangeas? Here's how.

Hydrangea flowers change color depending on the surrounding environment. The easiest color change is to go from pink to blue flowers. If you have white hydrangeas, sorry but you're out of luck. White hydrangeas don't have the chameleon-like ability of altering their hues.

To change the color of hydrangea flowers, you have to play chemist a little bit and mess around with the pH balance of the soil that the flowers are growing in. Sounds complicated, right? Don't worry, here are some easy tips.

How to turn your hydrangeas blue

To get flowers blue, they need to access the aluminum in the soil. The pH in the soil should be low (5.2-5.5). Test the soil to determine current pH levels. If it's higher than 5.6, it needs to be more acidic. Add aluminum sulfate to the soil, following product directions for amount and frequency. It's common to mix 1 Tbsp of aluminum sulfate to 1 gallon of water which is applied 3-4 times throughout the growing season.

How to turn your hydrangeas pink

Getting flowers to go from blue to pink is slightly more challenging, but it can be done. Pink hydrangeas need to have a higher level of pH in the soil ranging from 6.0-6.2. This is accomplished by keeping the hydrangeas from absorbing the aluminum in the soil. To do so, add lime or a high phosphorous fertilizer at the base of the plant. Growing pink hydrangeas in containers or pots can help balance the pH levels and maintain a controlled soil environment.

When attempting to change the color of hydrangeas, having patience is a virtue. The process can take a full growing season to take effect so you may not see the color changes in the flowers until next year.
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