Purple Hydrangeas?

towsoniteMay 9, 2014

Very new to hydrangeas, so bear with me. I suggested that we plant some hydrangeas and my wife wanted purple ones, "like we had at our wedding". They were mopheads and were a medium purple color, not light and not dark, and they were a single, solid color. Are there any hydrangea plants that consistently make purple flowers? I've been searching for a while and have had any luck. I know some guys that are more on the blue end will produce some flowers that are more on the purple-ish side, so maybe that's where our florist got them? I also know that you can change the color on some plants by messing with the acidity, but can you stop somewhere between pink and blue and get purple? Do all hydrangeas change color to some extent due to acidity?

Thanks for your help!

This post was edited by Towsonite on Fri, May 9, 14 at 23:53

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Yes H. macrophyllas that give colored blooms will react to soil acidity and turn blue, purple or pink. The ones that produce white blooms cannot be altered although the bloom color will change as it ages. But there is a narrow level of soil pH that produces purple so, if you err on either side of the proper soil pH, you end up with an unwanted shade of purple or with blue or pink blooms.

Growing it in pots is easier because you can control the soil pH better than in the ground.

It helps to use a variety that resists turning blue as these will tend to go purple on a wider range of pH. Examples: Glowing Embers, Masja, Mathilda Gutges, Merrit's Supreme, Burning Embers, Pia

I have been toying with an unknown lacecap in the ground, gradually increasing the acidity and last year, it was turning a light purple. We will see what happens this year. I have blooms now but they are in the broccoli stage so I am not sure what color or shade of color they will be.

But remember that once you achieve the proper shade, of purple, you will need to maintain it at that level forever or the ground will revert to its previous pH and the blooms' colors will change too.

Get a soil pH meter to help track the soil pH changes.

Or buy purple ones when you see them at the store and keep them in the pots. When tired of them, plant them on the ground to see if they will survive, or discard them, or put them in a compost pile; then buy newer purple ones if they are still for sale.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 6:21AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Adding a commercially available bluing agent to the soil for the ones Luis listed should get you *some* purples. Even a "mauve" color might be what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:51AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

It also depends on the cultivar as to how blue or purple the flower is. I have a hydrangea called 'Purple Tiers' and with my acid soil the flowers are a deep violet purple color. It is a beauty in the corner of my garden in the shade of the dogwood above it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:54PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Ohh, post pictures, jazzmom516!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:14AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

The flowers were cut and put in a vase on a table. It might be lighter due to the flash.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:25AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

When it is in bloom again this year, I will take a photo of it on the plant itself.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:26AM
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