Hydrangeas are a gardener’s dream! These marvelous shrubs bloom reliably with enormous, gorgeous flower heads. They are your summer garden show stoppers! Many varieties of hydrangea do well in our Bay Area climate and provide value and beauty to any landscape.
Most hydrangeas bloom in shades of white, pink, purple or blue. But one interesting quality is that an individual hydrangea plant can bloom in different colors, depending on the pH of the soil. If the soil is alkaline (a high pH), flowers bloom in pink or reddish. If the soil is acidic (low pH), they bloom in blue. Hydrangeas act as a natural soil tester, and we can use this trick to get the bloom colors we want. Just adjust the pH of the soil around your plant to change the flowers’ colors.
For Blue flowers: add a bit of Greenall® True Blue to lower the pH.
For a deep blue, start in the Fall, and apply several applications until they bud out in Spring.
For Red/Pink flowers: spread E.B. Stone Agricultural Lime to raise the pH. Start in Fall and apply four light applications until Spring.
Note: Color manipulation doesn’t work with white or lime green varieties.
Here are a few of our favorite varieties, in stock now at Evergreen Nursery:
Paniculata “Limelight”: This lovely variety features large, dense panicle-shaped flowers that bloom in spring with a soft, lime green tint, turning pinkish and white as the summer goes on. “Limelight” is a hardy hydrangea that blooms into the fall.
“Endless Summer”: A summer superstar, this variety boasts absolutely enormous flower heads that bloom in shades of deep pink or blue. This is a variety that can change color with an alteration in soil pH and is gorgeous in any color, all summer long!
“Princess Lace”: A delicate lace-cap variety, “Princess Lace” offers precious light pink to blue flowers (depending on soil pH) that dangle effortlessly on upright stems. It’s a long-time bloomer, starting in early summer and going through to the fall.
“Penny Mac”: This abundant bloomer features bold balls of flowers (pink to blue, depending on pH) with creamy white centers that really stand out.This is a cold-tolerant variety that blooms reliably in our area.