How To Change Hydrangea Color From Pink Or Blue

Pretty Pink or Brilliant Blue: How to Make Your Hydrangea Change Color

Love your hydrangea blooms but want to change up their color? Many hydrangeas will go through a slight color change when transplanted due to adjusting to their new soil when you first bring them home. But if you really want to shake things up, this simple little soil hack will make your Hydrangea change color!How to Change Hydrangea Color

Keep in mind that this will only work for the blue or pink varieties (white blooms cannot be changed to any other color). And before you get too excited, you cannot change the intensity of the color; that is more dependent on the environment or weather. Although I must say that changing bloom color so drastically is pretty darn exciting!

Soil Test

The first thing you need to do is test the pH of your soil. Acidic soil (lower pH) will yield blue flowers and alkaline (higher pH) will give you pink flowers. You can buy a soil test kit at your local garden center to determine the pH of the soil, but here is a quick and simple way to figure out your soil’s pH with ingredients from the kitchen.

How to change your soil pH

Once you know the general pH of your soil, you can adjust it to get pink or blue hydrangea blooms.

Turn Pink Blooms Blue

If your hydrangeas are pink (because your soil is alkaline) and you want them to be blue, you need to make the soil acidic by increasing the presence of aluminum. You can achieve this by adding amendments to you your soil like pine needles, compost, coffee grounds, and aluminum sulfate that help make the soil acidic over time. Keep in mind that changing the pH of your soil is a gradual process and will not result in deep blue blooms overnight. It can take up to a year for the color change to happen.

If your soil is naturally alkaline, you’ll have to add an aluminum source throughout the growing season to keep them blue. If you are using aluminum sulfate, you will need to add 4 tablespoons of aluminum sulfate to a gallon of water, and drench around the base of the plant every 2 to 4 weeks.  How to Change Hydrangea Color from pink or blue

Turn Blue Blooms Pink

To change hydrangea blooms from blue to pink, you need to remove the aluminum from the soil. The only way to do this is to add garden lime to soil to help raise the pH. Sprinkle 3 to 4 cups of garden lime around the base of the plant. Again, you will have to add the lime every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the growing season to keep the blooms pink.

Now that you know how to change their color, head over to read about how to care for them in this Essential Guide to Hydrangeas.The Essential Guide to Hydrangeas from Garden Therapy

And preserve the color once you have it with How to Dry Hydrangeas and Retain Color!dry hydrangea flowers to retain color


About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Karen
    KarenApril 11,16

    I pruned mine either at the wrong time or too severely a couple of years ago and did not have any blooms last year. Hoping I get some this year. They are usually blue.

  2. Mimi
    MimiSeptember 1,16

    Hydrangeas like MAGNESIUM Sulphate (not aluminum sulphate) to acidy the soil. Aluminum sulphate is highly toxic & will kill many plants

    • Mimi
      MimiSeptember 1,16

      I meant to type BLUE Hydrangeas like Magnesium Sulphate

    • Stephanie Rose
      Stephanie RoseSeptember 1,16

      Hi Mimi, thank you for your comment. It is the sulfur that changes the pH in the soil and allows the hydrangea to uptake aluminum and thus change the color, but while adding magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) can change the pH of the soil, it can’t help if there is no available aluminum left in the soil.

      I would like to look into it a bit more, could you provide some articles to help me learn more about Aluminum sulfate being highly toxic and killing plants?

      • Kammy
        KammyFebruary 21,17

        okay now I am really confused! Aluminum sulphate? Magnesium sulphate AKA Epsom salts? Help!

        • Stephanie Rose
          Stephanie RoseFebruary 21,17

          Hi Kammy, no they are different. The article has links to the products so you can see them.

  3. Ronald Jordan
    Ronald JordanOctober 31,16

    I turned my pink hydrangea blue just by scattering some wire nails on the soil around the plant. the following year I had some blue and some pink on the same bush. The next year it was all pink again.

    • Linda Shaw
      Linda ShawJune 17,17

      I assume the wire nails were made of aluminum?

  4. Marj R
    Marj RJuly 27,17

    I have 2 hydrangea bushes and for the past few years they have barely bloomed. Can anyone suggest tips for me?

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