We inherited two Hydrangea macrophyllas when we bought our house.
Both had been here since the house was built in 1992 and were doing well. But, unfortunately for my taste, one was pink and the other white.
I longed for a true blue Hydrangea…you know, the kind you see by the dozen at the Jersey shore! I had never tried to grow one in the Hudson Valley as everyone said it was a losing battle. Hmmmm. I’m not too sure that was true.
Nevertheless, in my partly shaded courtyard I am the proud Mama to a pink and a white.
Do you know why they can be different colors? It depends on the pH of your soil: my soil is, obviously, high pH and thus has little or no aluminum. A soil with high amounts of aluminum (and low pH) will produce blue flowers.
This spring I decided to track my large, voluptuous, almost decadent, pink Hydrangea over time. Here are four time images:
I am thinking about trying to change the color to blue. Yes, it is easier, and possible , to change pink to blue and very difficult to do the reverse. But adding aluminum to the soil is tricky: too much and you risk burning the roots and you may get a year or two of some intermediate color. It might also be hard to maintain that blue depending on your natural soil. A container would be much easier to control, but this plant is huge so that is a no-go! There are many helpful articles out there, but take a look at this one.
I just found this picture taken when we bought the house in 2010! The plant looks just about the same only a bit larger now..
And, for the last two years I had NO FLOWERS AT ALL due to the cold winters. So last winter I covered the plants with a very light fabric for just that purpose. And it worked.
Here’s a shot I took this morning showing both original plants along the fence:
Tell us about your experiences with Hydrangea macrophyllas. Have you ever tried to change the color?