Hydrangea: Summer's Favorite Shrub

Every New Jersey native knows that it’s summer when hydrangeas start pushing out their blooms. These colorful clusters of flowers decorating our neighborhoods and parks are a surefire sign that summer is in full swing. Blue and pink blooms are coveted among gardeners, adding an elegant and fantastical flair to any landscape. If you are keen on practicing some landscaping magic, changing the color of your hydrangea blooms is easier than you may think. 

Hydrangea macrophylla, a species of hydrangea with varieties such as bigleaf, lacecap, and mophead hydrangeas, are apt to change the color of their blooms depending on the condition of the soil. The shifting hues of the hydrangea blooms are a result of the soil’s pH, which dictates how much aluminum the plant is uptaking. Any gardener hoping to bring color to their yard should first test the soil surrounding the hydrangea. Achieving blue flowers is as easy as adding an acidifier to the soil, aiming for a pH of 6.0 or lower. For this, we love to use Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier granules. This product will shift the color of your blooms in a jiffy, as well as providing your shrub with nutrients so that your summer hydrangeas will be the talk of the neighborhood. On the other hand, gardeners seeking pink flowers should focus on increasing the alkalinity of their soil, shooting for a pH of 7.0 or higher. We recommend Espoma Organic Garden Lime for this job, which not only raises pH levels but also helps to fortify your plant and promote strong growth. Soil with pH levels between 6.0 and 7.0 creates a beautiful shade of lavender. Play around with the soil content and create majestic gradients and color patterns in your garden. Happy planting!