purchased as a gift plant, bigleaf hydrangea can be transplanted in
landscapes and enjoyed year after year.
Bigleaf hydrangea prefers morning sun, afternoon shade and moist,
It will grow in locations with afternoon sun, but
will probably wilt and need more supplemental watering.
not expect the plant to take full sun. The large leaves of hydrangea
result in more water loss in the heat of summer. So, hydrangeas perform
best when given a break from the sun.
Bigleaf hydrangea can be easily grown in containers and make an
excellent patio plant.
An advantage of growing the plant in a container is that it can be
moved indoors on a cold night.
Also called French, Japanese or snowball hydrangea, the plant is known
for its flower colors that can be changed from pink to blue or from
blue to pink by adjusting the soil pH. The color variation is due to
the presence or absence of aluminum compounds in the flowers. If
aluminum is present within the plant, the flower color will be blue. If
it is present in small quantities, the color will be in between, or
violet, and if it is absent, the flowers will be pink.
Soil pH indirectly affects flower color by affecting the availability
of aluminum in the soil. When the soil is acidic, pH 5.5 or lower,
aluminum is generally more available to the roots. When the soil is
neutral or alkaline, pH 7.0 or higher, aluminum levels are decreased.
To gradually change flower color from pink to blue, broadcast one-half
cup of wettable sulfur per 10 square feet and water it into the soil.
To make the flowers pink, broadcast 1 cup of dolomitic lime per 10
square feet and water it into the soil.
Granular products can be applied anytime throughout the year. However,
it takes patience to change hydrangea flower colors, as it can take a
year to see a noticeable change.
A quicker way to change flower color is through liquid soil drenches
applied in March, April and May. To make the flowers turn blue,
dissolve 1 tablespoon of aluminum
sulfate in 1 gallon of water. To make
the flowers turn pink, dissolve 1 tablespoon of hydrated lime in 1
gallon of water. Drench the soil around the plant with the solution.
Avoid getting the solution on the leaves.
It is not hard to change hydrangea flower color; simply decide which
method best suits you. With the right care and materials, you can have
hydrangeas of your color choice.