What’s Up With This Hydrangea?

A few days ago my friend Blaire sent me the photo below with this question:

I am attaching a picture of my largest hydrangea bush. I love it, but for 2 or 3 years it has had pink AND blue flowers- fine with me- except i don’t know why.  I have seen others like this, so the soil is acidic and base?  One year it was pink and turned blue; acid rain?  Originally it was a pink plant.  I have a white bush next to it that stays white; a newer different species pink that has stayed pink and a container “blush” pink that has stayed that way.  Any ideas why the one bush does that?

So I’ve been looking for an answer to Blaire’s question and I really can’t find one. There’s plenty of information on the basic concept that acidic soil produces blue flowers while alkaline soil produces pink. There’s also lots of information about how to change flower color and what species of plants favor each color. I’m curious now too about what would cause a consistant multi-colored bloom.

What do you think? Help us solve the mystery!

What’s up with Blaire’s hydrangea?

12 Comments

  1. Ours only got a few blooms last year, this year they are blooming like crazy, but ours are just starting, when others in the area are in full bloom?? We have one white and one blue in the back and not sure what they are in the front yet?

  2. The soil is neutral! Which means it is not too basic and not too acidic. I’ve got several like this, and I love them, so I leave them. White hydrangeas do not change color according to the soil PH. So, the question is, do you want pink blooms, or do you want blue blooms? If you go to your local garden center and tell them what you want to do, they’ll point you to the right additives to make the soil more basic (if you want pink), or acidic (if you want blue). Here is a great bit of info on this: http://www.flowersbulbs.com/ql_hydrangea_color.htm
    Hope that helps!!

  3. I see there is a patio of some sort, is it concrete? Maybe when the concrete was poured bits of it got into the surrounding soil and it is making parts of the soil more alkaline, while the surrounding bits are more acidic…hence a multi-colored bloom. Just a guess. 🙂

  4. You can use lime to raise your soil ph, and sulfur to lower it. There are lots of kinds out there. i like the “fast acting” ones. They are a bit more pricey, but they are good quality, and work fairly quickly.

  5. I don’t know…. but it’s beautiful and you have the best of both worlds! In fact, it’s the ideal plant for an indecisive gardener like me!

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