hydrangea - Knowledgebase Question

avenel, Ne
Avatar for asminetta
Question by asminetta
July 10, 2010
the leave on my plant get brown and shrivle also the blooms are not a vibrant color and I read that aluminum helps with that how do i get alum. into the soil/ thanks

Answer from NGA
July 10, 2010
Hot, dry summer weather can make the leaves turn brown and too much afternoon sunshine can make the flower color fade. Soil acidity or alkalinity will change the color of hydrangea blooms. You can change the color back by treating the soil. Pink and red hydrangeas often turn blue or purple in acid soils, and plants can be made red by liming the soil or applying superphosphate. For blue flowers, treat the soil with 2 Tablespoons of aluminum sulphate per plant, making 4-6 applications at 2 week intervals, starting in the early spring before the plants bloom. (Sulfur will acidify the soil. The desired pH range would be between 5.5 and 6.) For pink flowers, add lime to the soil, to raise the pH above 7.8). Test your soil to measure the pH range. If you can't find the fertilizer in your garden center, look for specially marked packages of hydrangea color changer. These are relatively new products on the market and are easy to use.

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