I’m sure you’ve seen beautiful hydrangeas of different colors. If you wish for a specific flower color on your hydrangeas, you may wonder: do you have to buy them that way, or can you change them yourself? I’ll share with you here how to change hydrangea colors: easy and so beautiful!!!
Hydrangeas are a very beautiful plant. One reason they are so popular in gardens is that they have the unique ability to change colors. The color of the flowers that bloom on these bushy plants can take on many shades of red buds, blue blooms, pink flowers, purple flowers, white flowers, and more. Did you know that the pH level of the soil actually plays a role in determining these beautiful colors?
Here are some of the hydrangea varieties that can change colors:
- Nikko Blue Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’)
- Endless summer hydrangeas
- Let’s Dance® Starlight Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla LET’S DANCE Starlight ‘Lynn’)
If you want to change the colors of this beautiful, long-lasting flower in your own garden, we’re going to tell you exactly how to do it. It involves a bit of fun science and some careful planning. One of the unique things about hydrangeas is that they do have the ability to change colors. And they do it on their own in nature, but you can manipulate it once you understand how it works.
How To Change Hydrangea Colors
What You'll Be Needing:
First, it’s important to know that hydrangeas can change color on their own, based on the conditions and pH levels of the soil they are planted in. (learn more about how to care for hydrangea bushes here). If you want to change the color of your hydrangeas, it’s actually possible. But there are some important things to know first so you can do it right. The pH of your soil is important, so you will need to create the best scenario for managing this.
Hydrangeas: A Gardener’s Guide If you really want to control the color of yours, you will do better if they are planted in pots. When you have container hydrangeas, you have much more control over the condition of the soil. This makes it easier to control the colors. It doesn’t mean you can’t change the color of hydrangeas that are planted in the ground: just that it can take more work.
When hydrangeas are planted or transplanted, they will often change colors on their own. This is because they are adjusting to their new environment. It can take some time to see what color they will settle in with and keep because it takes time for them to fully adjust to new soil. This is normal and to be expected, but what if you want to have control over what colors they are?
Before we talk more about how to change the colors of your hydrangeas, it’s important to become aware of the limitations. You can’t just make up any color under the sun and make your flowers change to it. There are scientific rules in place that will affect how you can do color changes. Let’s take a look.
Limitations on color changes
Some things to note when you are just getting started: while it is possible to change the colors of your hydrangeas, you have to work with what nature has given you. This means that there are some limitations. If you want to change the color of the hydrangea blooms, you must first be familiar with these limitations.
- You cannot change white hydrangeas to pink or blue. Sometimes white can become pink or red as they age, but it’s not guaranteed and there’s nothing you can do to really influence this.
- It’s difficult to change the intensity of the color of a hydrangea bloom. This means that while you can get it to turn blue or pink, you can’t change the brightness or shades of pink and blue. You have to just let the blooms do this on their own and accept what nature gives you. There are several reasons for this, such as the heredity of the plant, the weather conditions, and the health of the plant.
- If you live in a very hot climate, you will likely never see deep shades of red. They just don’t do well in the very warm climates. You can get a dark pink, but people in the south usually don’t see a true red. You might be able to do so if you’re raising them in containers.
Now that you know the limitations of color changes, let’s take a look at how you can get your hydrangeas to change to some of the common popular colors.
Related: Caring for hydrangea trees.
How to Make Hydrangeas Blue
All-natural way to turn Hydrangeas blue Hydrangeas turn blue based on the pH of the soil they are in. A pH lower than 6.0 will typically give you blue or lavender-hued flowers. When the pH is above 7.0 (alkaline), it gives pinks and reds. If you have a pink hydrangea and you want it to be blue, you need to bring those pH levels down in the soil. You can do this by adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate to the soil itself.
If your blooms are currently pink, that means your soil is naturally alkaline. You can turn them blue by adjusting this and making the soil acidic. Using an aluminum sulfate to keep them blue? Add about 4 tablespoons of it to a gallon of water and drench the base of the plant about every 2 to 4 weeks.
Love blue? Here’s my favorite collection of blue flowers.
Blue hydrangea pictures
What a beautiful blue hydrangea bush! Happiness!!!!
I love this one! Takes me far away to a slower country life 🙂
Nice, peaceful setting by a lake with a cool blue hedge made of hydrangea flowers.
How to Make Hydrangeas Pink
Pink Hydrangea Fertilizer As we said above, the color is determined by the pH levels in the soil. If the flowers are pink, it means they are taking up aluminum from the soil, but if they are blue, it means they are not.
If you want to make them pink, you need to ensure they are getting aluminum from the soil.
To check the pH levels of the soil, get a testing kit. You can also take a soil sample to a county extension office for testing. Most people prefer to get kits and do it at home, so they have more control over testing and working with the colors.
You can raise the pH levels by adding lime to your soil. If you want to try it, just follow the instructions on the product you buy. When you’re done, use your testing kit to check the level of the soil again.
You may have to do this several times to get the level range you want, and it might still take several months for the flowers to change to the colors you want. This will require patience.
The plants have to adjust to their new soil conditions, so this takes place over time. If it happened rapidly, they’d probably just die.
Pink hydrangea pictures
Imagine being greeted by these pale pink hydrangeas every time you come home!
I LOVE the hot pink hydrangeas in this image.
How to Make Hydrangeas Purple
Women’s Delightful Hydrangea Tee Small White If you keep these plants, you may already know that they can also turn purple. Or maybe you’ve seen them in a beautiful purple color and you want to know how to achieve that for yourself.
Well, in strong acidic soil (pH below 6), flowers turn blue. In alkaline soil (pH above 7), flowers turn pink or even red. In slightly acidic or neutral soil (pH 6 to 7), you may get a purple color, or you could get blue and pink in the same bloom.
If you want to try this, you’ll need to shoot for very neutral soil, and sometimes finding that perfect balance can take some time.
Keep testing your soil until you achieve that neutral range of pH 6 to 7. You may need to add more of one ingredient or the other until you get consistent results right where you want them.
Then, just give your blooms time to adjust to the changes and you should start seeing their colors change accordingly.
Purple hydrangea pictures
Now that you have these tips, you can figure out easier how to change the color of your hydrangeas.
Give it a try for yourself!
Like seeing how it’s done? Here’s a quick video for you:
Jobe’s Organics Soil Acidifier for Hollies, Blueberries, and Other Acid Loving Plants, Turns Hydrangeas Blue, 6-pound bagJobe’s Organics Garden Lime for Organic Gardening Soil De-Acidifier, pH Balancer Turns Hydrangeas Pink, 6-pound bag
If you love your hydrangeas but what to change their color, you now have the info you need to do it. Now that you know how to change hydrangea colors, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood. Plant a few more hydrangea plants and enjoy the beautiful color show!
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Friday 31st of March 2023
[…] The flowers are the most memorable feature of this plant, with large clusters of blooms that can be pink, blue, purple, or white depending on the acidity of the soil (learn more about changing hydrangea color by tweaking the pH of the soil). […]
MARILYN R O'BRIEN
Friday 25th of November 2022
I AM A NEWBIE AND I WANT MY GARDEN FULL OF HYDRANGEAS, ROSES AND JUST BEAUTIFUL COLORS. IS THERE A BOOK I CAN GET.
Saturday 26th of November 2022
There are lots of books you can try, but I suggest buying a couple of plants in the spring to start with. your local nursery might have some. And if not, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowers all have hydrangeas in the spring.
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Sunday 30th of October 2022
[…] Showstopper Hydrangea features a wide array of colored flowers, depending on your soil type ranging from pink and violet to vivid purple shades (see how to change hydrangea flowers color). […]
11 Best Companion Plants For Hydrangeas
Monday 20th of June 2022
[…] Hydrangeas change their color in response to soil pH. If you want blue hydrangeas, be sure to give them commercial blue hydrangea food on a regular basis to keep them from turning pink. Conversely, give your pink hydrangeas regular fertilizing with pink hydrangea food to keep them from turning blue. […]
Thursday 16th of June 2022
My Hydrangeas blooms are shriveling, or reduce the fullness of their bloom, in the sun, please advise why ???
Monday 20th of June 2022
Make sure your planted are well watered. Not sure how hot has been in your area, but we had some really hot days. Hydrangeas need moist soil.