Hydrangea - Maroon/Brown Color Flowers

eahamel(9a)November 22, 2011

I have been seeing these in the stores recently and they're spectacular. I found one today that was marked down to $5.00 and couldn't resist (have been $24.99). I was wondering, what are they fed to get that color?

I'm going to plant it in a semi-shady part of my yard, morning sun, then shade from a tree the rest of the day. I've never grown a hydrangea before but couldn't resist this one, though I expect it to be white next year.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Perhaps past prime bloom stage?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 10:51PM
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The one I got probably is, but it still looks good. I've seen these in several stores, such as grocery stores (which is where I got mine), and they're all the same shade. Really spectacular! I'd post a picture but don't know how to do that. They're feeding them something to get that color.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 6:53AM
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That coloring has nothing to do with fertilizer. It is just a matter of the specific cultivar of hydrangea and how the blooms age. With most bigleaf hydrangeas, the color of the aged flower is distinctly different from that of the new flower - a maroon or brownish tinted flower is very common on those that initially bloom a deep pink, like 'Glowing Embers'. And if not a bigleaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla), nearly all of the paniculatas age to a rosey, deep pink that can deepen to a maroon, wine or brownish tone. The amount of sunlight they receive as well as moisture as the flowers age has as much bearing on the coloration as anything.

Without seeing any photos of the flower in question to confirm type, etc., it is also possible that the coloring is the result of dyes. Placing cut flower stems in colored water will affect the flower color - florists do this all the time.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 3:26PM
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It's H. macrophylla. I went to the store and took pictures today. Got a pic of the info on the tag, too. It's a deliberately aged flower, but it still looks really great, and it also looks like the stores are selling a lot of them. I've never seen anything like it and was awed at the row of them inside the building when I first saw them.

Here's a link to the producer's website:

My only experience with hydrangeas was an oakleaf, years ago, and it lived about a year. I don't know what went wrong, and don't know how well they do in Houston's climate, but am going to plant this one. There are several pieces in one pot and I may divide them and plant part in the ground and part in a pot, in a shady area so they'll get morning sun, and see how they do.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 5:03PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The producer's (!) website says: "We�ve heard that some
gardeners mix in rusty nails in the soil but we don�t know whether that helps or not."

The answer is NOT.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 2:17PM
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