The Q&A Archives: can you make a hydrangea pinker

Question: can you use a chemical to make a hydrangea pinker?

Answer: I don't know how deep a pink you're looking for, but in your hot summer climate, it is unlikely you will ever see a "true red" hydrangea. No matter how convincing those pictures in the catalogs are or how much lime is added to the soil, you can only achieve a very deep or dark pink, but not a true red. By this same token, you can rarely change the intensity of a color (how strong or pale the color is). The intensity develops for a number of reasons: the heredity of a particular hydrangea variety, weather conditions (hot or cold, humid or dry), health of the plant, and other natural factors. Fertilizing hydrangeas once or twice a year may result in a little more saturated color simply because the health of the plant may be improved. I guess the short answer to your question is no, but feeding with a high phosphorous fertilizer will improve the health of your plant and allow it to develop the deepest color possible. Good luck with your garden!

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