Keeping hydrangeas blue with azalea soil & vinegar?

BrianFebruary 23, 2010

I currently have 3 mopheads growing in containers. They were blue when I first got them and then turned pink. I have been trying to turn them blue with the espoma acid soil sulfur every 60 days for a year now, but they still are pink. I am planning on buying more this spring including my first endless summer and was wondering if I planted them in azalea soil and watered with vinegar, would that keep my hydrangeas blue? I vacation in Cape Cod every summer and envy how almost every home there seem to have huge blue hydrangeas bushes in their yards and I want the samething! Let me know, thank you!

Brian

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gardengal48

Planting them in containers is often the recommended method when the soil conditions lean towards alkaline, as in your area. So yes, the azalea soil (or any other acid planting mix) would be advised. And since your tap/irrigation water is also alkaline, a dilute vinegar solution would help. And all container plants will need regular, periodic fertilizing and I'd lean towards MiracleGro for Acid Lovers (aka Miracid) for these as it contains acidifiers.

Put all these together and your blue mopheads should remain blue!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 11:31AM
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Brian

Great advice gardenrgal! You just confirmed everything I had thought about doing from reading, thanks again! I just can't wait for spring so I can go out and triple the amount of hydrangeas I already have; I really finally want to buy some of the endless summer collections!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 8:40PM
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tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)

Brian,
I vacation on Cape Cod also and absolutely love those Hydrangeas we see! Ihave added about 10 to my yard. If you get curious, check out Limelight Hydrangeas - they are stunning! (Although limegreen/white in color)
Happy gardening

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:43AM
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tsmith2579(7B)

I don't advise vinegar but I do recommend azalea fertilizer and agricultural sulfur. This will definitely make them blue.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:54PM
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gardengal48

Even if one provides acidic soil conditions, if the irrigation water is alkaline -- as it is in much of SoCal - it will negate that effect. Watering with a dilute vinegar solution IS recommended for a lot of acid loving plants in these areas, including Japanese maples.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 9:28AM
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Brian

Tulipsmiles: They are beautiful, I already can't wait to go back this summer! Thank you for letting me know about the limelights, after doing some research now I'm thinking about adding one of those as well!

Gardengal: Thanks for the reassurance! I do already do everything to the soil to turn them blue, and it's still not strong enough. So hopefully the vinegar will help out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:42PM
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