Saturday, July 28, 2012

Long-awaited Hydrangea blue

This hydrangea began its life pink, in a pot. After a patient wait while the plant established itself in the garden, I was delighted to see that its first outdoor blossoms were a brilliant blue.

Hydrangeas are usually blue or pink, depending on what's in the soil. By doctoring their soil with different elements, the colour can be altered to suit the gardener's tastes.

I've always preferred the more common blue ones -- at least they are more common in our area, where the soil tends toward acidity, and thus promotes that colouration.

These flowers can be white and also pale green. They come in various flower patterns: lacecap, mophead, oakleaf and more.

Recently a friend received a red one in a pot. She plans to put it in the garden, but the colour may change there once it's exposed to the different soil from that provided by the growers. To keep the flowers red, the soil must be kept very alkaline.

In pots, these flowers are beautiful and long-lasting gifts. In the garden, they are beautiful late summer bloomers that continue to flower right into the fall.

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