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Long lasting and exceptionally beautiful, hydrangeas are a festive addition to most any home landscape. Not only do hydrangeas make a dramatic and colorful statement in the garden, the blooms of these unique plants can be easily dried for indoor arrangements.
The coloration of several varities of hydrangea flowers can be changed or controlled by regulating the acidity of your garden soil in which the hydrangeas are planted. The majority of hydrangea varieties show a variation in the color of the flowers as the plant matures. White varieties tend to stay white, however blue and pink varieties can be manipulated to change or intensify their color via the pH of the soil.
If hydrangeas in your garden currently produce blue flowers, enhancing the soil to make it more alkaline will slowly change blue flowers to pink. Hydrangeas planted next to a sidewalk or concrete foundation often turn pink from the lime that leaches into the soil from the concrete.
Conversely, if you increase the acidity of the soil, your pink hydrangeas will turn blue. Aluminum sulfate, available online or from local home and garden centers can be incorporated into the soil around the base of the hydrangea bush to increase acidity. Follow package direction for accurate application as over application may burn roots and damage or stunt the growth of your plants.
Hydrangeas are also excellent as potted plants to added color and greenery to the patio, terrace or balcony.
United States Hardiness Zones For Hydrangeas
Over the past decade, horticulturists have developed several varieties of “ever-blooming” hydrangeas. Commonly known as “mop head hydrangeas”, these plants will flourish and bloom much further north than before. Ever-blooming varieties such as “Blushing Bride” and “Endless Summer” blooms multiple times a year and so well in southern climates as well. “Annabelle”, “Oakleaf” and “Peewee” are other varieties that do well in both northern and southern location. Hydrangeas thrive in United States Hardiness Zones 4 through 11.
While the majority of varieties of hydrangeas grow best in a shaded area, there are several that prefer a sunny spot in the garden. Hydrangeas present large, showy blooms in shades of white, pink, blue and lavender. The spectacular blooms typically fade to shades of burgundy, red, or pink before drying to beige. In many parts of the country, the blooms will dry in place on the plant and remain attractive through the winter.
Hydrangeas prefer moist, well-drained, nutrient rich soil. To produce the best flowers possible, enhance the soil around the base of the plant will a generous application of well-aged herbivore manure (cow, horse, lama, mule, sheep, or goat.)
Trim your hydrangea blooms as they fade, keeping in mind that the hydrangea plant only blooms on new growth.
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