How does this work exactly? In strongly acidic soil (pH below 6) hydrangeas turn blue, in alkaline soil (pH above 7) they turn pink or even red and in neutral soil or turn purple or a mix of blue and pink on a single shrub. What’s truly impressive though is that white hydrangeas remain white regardless of pH level.
If you are stuck with growing the wrong color hydrangeas here are a few tips and tricks to help switch up the color. To turn blue hydrangeas pink, add wood ashes, lime or phosphorus to the soil. Add coffee grounds, citrus peels or crushed eggshells to turn pink hydrangeas blue.
Once cut the secret to making hydrangeas last is in their name; they love hydration, moisture aka water! To keep your hydrangeas well-hydrated follow the tips below:
- Trim and process hydrangeas as soon as you receive them. Cut them in the water at a 45° angle to facilitate better water absorption. Some florists swear by smashing the stem a bit with a mullet or cutting the stem vertically to help the hydrangea get more water, but we are on the fence on this one and will have to run an in-house experiment before we can co-sign the method.
- When processing hydrangeas remove all the leaves as they take up too much water.
- After trimming the stem place the flowers in boiling water for about 30 seconds as hydrangea stems contain a sticky substance that clogs the stems and prevents water from reaching the petals. This also works to revive hydrangeas if they start dropping prematurely.
- A handy alternative to the boiling water method is using Floralife quick dip as it is just as effective, but carefully follow instructions when using it.
- After trimming the stem, dip the end into alum powder before placing it back in an arrangement/vase.
- Try not to crowd hydrangeas when you arrange them as they like a little room to ‘breath’.
- Keep or store your hydrangeas out of direct sunlight and away from drafts from air conditioners and air vents.
- Use a water spritzer as hydrangeas drink from their petals. In fact, to revive a wilting hydrangea, dunk the entire head in room temperature water for a few minutes.
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