What determines the color of hydrangea
Hydrangea is one of the most beautiful shrubs. This plant is gaining popularity every year not only among gardeners, but also among lovers of indoor plants. All new varieties appear, among which there are both chic shrubs that can winter in open ground, and dwarf species that are great for growing at home. Most growers are attracted by one extraordinary feature of hydrangea - some varieties can change the color of the inflorescences, which makes growing them a very exciting process. What factors affect the color of the hydrangea, what determines the color of the hydrangea and how to achieve a color change - these are the issues we will discuss in this article.
General information about hydrangeas
Hydrangeas of different colors: photo
The large-leaved hydrangea arrived in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century from Japan. And already in Europe, breeders have bred the most popular and beautiful varieties. This is an unusually interesting process, breeding work never stops, so new varieties keep appearing all the time. Experts are trying to achieve better frost resistance, new colors of inflorescences, and develop compact varieties that can be grown in pots and containers.
Hydrangea is not a capricious plant, it is only important to know what conditions the plant needs for growth and flowering. It is very important to choose the right place for the shrub, apply fertilizers in a timely manner and do not forget about watering - hydrangea loves water very much, the soil under the bush should always be moist. Unlike most plants, hydrangea prefers acidic soil. The color of hydrangeas depends on the level of acidity of the soil - they can be pink, lilac or blue.
What determines the color of hydrangea: the main factors
Several factors affect the color of flowers: the variety of the plant, the level of acidity of the soil, the predominance of certain chemical elements in the composition of the soil.
Only some types of hydrangea have a pigment that is responsible for the color change, so such experiments cannot be carried out with any type of hydrangea.
In order for the colors to take on a blue tint, there must be a lot of aluminum in the soil. It is in acidic soil that aluminum is contained in available compounds, hydrangea easily assimilates it, and its flowers turn blue.
If a hydrangea with blue flowers is transplanted from acidic soil to neutral soil, then after a while the flowers will change their color to pink. And with an average level of acidity, the flowers will be pink-lilac, although there is a chance that you will be able to observe a real miracle: both pink and blue flowers can bloom on the same bush.
Modern varieties may have a predisposition to any color, but it can also be influenced by changing the composition of the soil. True, depending on the predisposition of the variety, under the same conditions one bush can bloom with bright pink flowers, and its neighbor with lilac.
How can you change the color of a hydrangea
Flower growers-experimenters will be very interested in the process of changing the color, but in order to act in the right direction, you need to know exactly how to water the hydrangea in order to change the color of the inflorescences.
In order for the hydrangea to bloom with blue flowers, two conditions must be met: the plant needs sufficient soil acidity and a sufficient amount of aluminum.If you buy a hydrangea with blue flowers from a store and do not keep the soil in the necessary condition, then over time, the flowers may turn pink-lilac or pink. By watering your hydrangea with tap water, you gradually leach the soil, so be sure to keep an eye on the pH level if you prefer blue flowers. When growing indoor hydrangea, this is not very difficult, but in the garden it is somewhat more difficult to achieve the desired level of acidity.
Most likely, the soil in your summer cottage will be neutral or slightly acidic, it is such land that is most suitable for the vast majority of horticultural and horticultural crops. And pink hydrangeas in such soil will feel great, but blue flowers will gradually lose their brightness. To maintain their color, you can fertilize the soil in the trunk circle with peat, coniferous sawdust or litter, aluminum sulfate. You can increase the acidity by watering your hydrangeas with a solution of apple cider vinegar or citric acid.
If, on the contrary, the soil is too acidic, and you prefer the pink color of hydrangea, then you can add lime, chalk, dolomite flour to the trunk circle.
The acidity level of the soil, on which the color of hydrangea flowers depends, can change independently, for reasons beyond your control. This is facilitated by rains, fertilizers, groundwater. If you are unable to control changes in the soil composition and color of the hydrangea, then it may be worth growing it in pots and containers. This makes it much easier to regulate the composition of the soil and achieve the desired result, you can move the plants around the site depending on the weather conditions and your mood (today a group of blooming hydrangeas decorates the porch, and tomorrow it will be located next to the gazebo!). And for the winter period, you do not have to wrap up the plants and worry that they will not tolerate frost - it will be enough to move the containers for storage to a greenhouse, basement or winter garden. It is important to remember that in winter hydrangeas also need watering, albeit less abundant, but regular.
When grown in containers, hydrangeas leave their dormant state much earlier, respectively, and flowering will come earlier. And what color your hydrangeas will be depends only on you.
What determines the color of hydrangea: a useful video