Hydrangeas: Change the colour of your hydrangeas with simple coffee and egg shell hack

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don on growing hydrangeas

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Hydrangeas are a popular flower that can be spotted in gardens across the nation. They are known for their delicate scent and large flower heads which come in a variety of shapes. Some popular varieties are the mop head and lace cap hydrangeas which come in beautiful hues of white, blue and pink.

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Some bigleaf hydrangeas can actually change colour from pink to blue and vice versa.

The reason hydrangeas can change colour is in response to the amount of aluminium in the soil.

Gardens with more acidic soils have aluminium readily available which means hydrangeas can absorb it.

However, the plants can’t draw the mineral into their roots in alkaline soils.

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Changing the pH of the soil can change the colour of a hydrangea – but only if they’re blue or pink.

How to change the colour of a hydrangea

Soil test

Gardeners need to test their soil’s pH levels.

A specialist soil test kit will determine the soil’s pH levels.

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Garden centres usually sell a home test kit or a pH meter.

A lower pH means the flowers tend to be blue.

A higher pH will mean the flowers produced are usually pink.

It’s not uncommon for hydrangeas to be shades of green and cream to start with.

This will change as the flowers mature.

Soil pH 5 to 5.5 = Blue

Soil pH 6 to 6.5 = Pink/purple

Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5 = Purple, or both blue and pink

To make your hydrangeas’ pink flowers turn blue, the soil needs to be made more acidic.

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Gardeners will need to add add aluminium sulphate to soil.

To make aluminium flowers turn pink, the soil needs to be more alkaline.

Garden lime can be added to soil or aluminium sulphate removed.

Gardeners should change their soil’s pH before they start to flower in the late autumn or early spring.

The effects may not be seen straight away, and can take a while to work.

Household item hackS to change soil pH

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds applied to the soil can be used to turn hydrangeas blue, according to Garden Design.com.

The coffee grounds will make the soil more acidic and allow the hydrangea to absorb aluminium.

Fruit peels, lawn clippings and pine needles can also be used.

Crushed egg shells

Crushed egg shells can turn hydrangeas pink.

Eggshells will break down and reduce the acidity of the soil.

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