Have you ever walked around a garden and got fascinated with various colors of flowers blooming? If yes, well, you are not alone. Whenever I see beautiful and colorful flowers, I can’t help but wonder how these pretty creations came to life. I often in awe of how nature lights up my mood. I oftentimes just stare at a beautiful flower and feel grateful that I am able to witness these beauties. Just like you, I always love flowers. The scent of fresh flowers is undeniably stress-relieving. One of my favorite flowers is the magical Hydrangeas. I say magical because these flowers could change colors from Blue to Pink and lighter and darker colors of the same hue. I am pretty sure you asked yourself how and where these beautiful flowers got their vibrant colors.
Well, wonder no more! We will give you tips on how to achieve these colors in your own garden, right at your own yard. All you need is a little chemistry knowledge.
Chemistry?! Oh, don’t worry, we will not be talking about the periodic table of elements here. By Chemistry I meant, I need to understand the pH level.
Why pH Level? It’s because the amount of acid and alkaline in the soil plays a very important role in colors of our beautiful hydrangeas.
pH value is numbered from 1 to 14, with 7 as the middle (neutral) point. Values below 7 indicate acidity which increases as the number decreases.
Now that you understood what pH level means, let us identify the things that you will need to do your own color-changing procedures.
It is said that it’s easier to change pink hydrangeas into blue than the other way around. If you have pink plants, then you are lucky enough! But hey, those who have blue, worry not! We get it all covered for you too. All procedures we will be outlining here are tested, proven and oh-so-easy to follow! So, what are we waiting for? Let’s begin.
You will need the following:
Pink to Blue:
- Aluminum Sulfate ( or alum powder) – you may get this from pharmacy or from any garden center
- A gallon of water
- Tin cans
- 60 grit sandpapers
- Peat Moss
- Ammonia – rich fertilizers
Blue to Pink:
- Garden Lime or Calcium Carbonate
- A gallon of water
Our alternative materials are cheaper and could usually be seen around the corner of your farms or gardens. We usually use Alum powder but if you opt to be more organic and natural, you may use Peat Moss and of course, Tin cans for you out there who want to recycle materials. Please take note that using these alternate materials takes longer to effect than using Aluminum Sulfate.
Now that you have all the materials needed, I know you are excited to do this little magical project, so let’s get going.
- From Pink to Blue: You got pink flowers because your soil is rich in alkaline. In order to change the color to blue, you need to increase acid content in soil by adding aluminum in it. Here’s how:
- Put a gallon of water in a bucket
- Mix 1 table spoons of aluminum sulfate in your water
- Stir until alum powder gets dissolved
- Drench this water solutions around the roots of your plant
- Do this once a year. Year by year, your pink hydrangeas will turn bluer and bluer
Using the alternative material Tin Can:
- Get a tin can
- Rub it with 60 grit sand paper until there will be lots of scratches
- Sand the end and inside of the tin can
- Cut the tin into small strips
- From strips, cut into small squares
- Push the small square tin tips into the soil around Hydrangea
- When the strips of tin can rust, they will make the soil more acidic
- Add peat moss and fertilizers with ammonia for best result.
- From Blue to Pink: You have blue flower because your soil is acidic. Hence, the need to remove or block aluminum content of the soil. This time, lime will be your best friend in order to raise the pH level in soil:
- Get about 1 cup of garden lime
- Mix it in a gallon of water in a bucket
- Make sure lime is dissolved in water
- Sprinkle garden lime solutions around your plant’s base
- Do this once a year and your blue flowers will be more pink year over year
- From White to Blue or Pink – Oh, my dear, unfortunately, white hydrangeas will not be changed into either pink or blue. White is unaffected by any pH level in a soil. But white is beautiful as it is, right?
There you have it, flower lovers! Easy, right? I personally enjoyed doing this procedure in my hydrangea plants every other year. By doing this, it makes me look forward to another colorful year. I feel the power is in my hands. Yes, this maybe so magical to see, but hey, you have the magic in your hands. You can do this right at your door step. The materials come so handy that there’s no need for you to even look far beyond your garden set.
Please note though, that all these changes do not happen overnight. It usually takes months upto a year in order for your colored hydrangeas to come full bloom with their new colors. The darkness or intensity of the colors will depend on the level of acid or alkaline present in your soil. It is always advisable to test you soil’s pH level.
Given all these tips, what are you waiting for? Head to your gardens now and do these DIY tips. If you even want your fellow gardener to know about it, feel free to share this article.
Have a colorful and a happy gardening time!