How do you grow blue hydrangeas?
A popular question around here, since I tend to share our own hydrangeas on Instagram pretty often.
Since we’re coming up on early spring, I decided to dust off this popular post –
I made sure to add everything new and helpful I’ve learned about alkaline soil and growing season.
How to Grow Big, Beautiful Blue Hydrangeas
Blue hydrangeas are one of the most stunning flowers.
Hydrangeas are my favorite flower to use in our home’s landscaping.
I love all the varieties and bloom colors – white hydrangeas, pink blooms, blue and purple flowers – all of the colors.
However, today I’m going to be specifically talking about our Endless Summer variety – since the majority of the questions I get are about these.
Endless Summer Hydrangeas
Known for their big, luscious blooms, these beauties are a staple in most coastal northeastern towns.
These flowers are pretty hardy and can withstand a lot of different temps.
But, if you want to grow your own hydrangea garden, you need to properly care for them.
So, how do you grow big, beautiful blue hydrangeas?
Through trial and error and several years of growing these hydrangea blooms both here in Connecticut and New York, we’ve figured out what works best.
Here are some of the best hydrangea care tips to produce the loveliest colors, the largest flower heads and sturdiest blooms.
Beautiful pink and blue color changes in our hydrangea garden.
Keep Hydrangeas Hydrated.
No matter what plant you’re growing, you should make sure you know how frequently you should be watering them.
If you aren’t properly watering your hydrangeas, you’ll see the blue flowers wilt and you won’t get as many blooms.
Even the time of day you water your flowers matters.
Ideally, you should water them in the morning as this is the best time to prepare them for heat of full sun as the day goes on.
In my experience you can never give any type of hydrangea too much water.
Prune Your Hydrangeas.
Hydrangea flowers require minimal maintenance in this area.
However, it’s still important to take the time to still do some pruning.
I don’t mind this part at all, since I’m always looking to clip some flowers to use indoors.
Your flowers won’t produce the plentiful blossoms you desire if you skip this crucial step in hydrangea care.
The goal of pruning hydrangeas is to remove the dead old wood and old growth.
The majority of your pruning should be done at the beginning of spring just as the new growth, new wood and new buds are emerging.
If the whole branch of a flower is dead wood, prune at the base of the plant.
You should never prune your hydrangeas in late summer – after August.
Make sure you have a pair of super-sharp clippers to get the job done right with minimal effort.
Fertilize Your Blue Hydrangeas with a Light Hand.
Fertilizer is the best way to improve the quality of rough soil, but not all soil will need fertilizer.
So before you go out in search of the best fertilizer, do a soil test to find out the pH of your soil.
If your soil’s pH contains aluminum and is acidic (low pH levels) the color of the hydrangea will automatically tend toward shades of blue and/or purple flower color.
If it turns out you do need fertilizer, choose the variety based on the type of hydrangeas you have.
Since we’re mainly discussing blue hydrangeas, here’s what we do:
We apply a minimal amount to the soil starting in March, then in late spring in May, and then again in early summer in June.
The perfect type of fertilizer for many types of hydrangeas is a balanced, slow-release variety.
We use an organic brand, called Hollytone – I’m super partial to this one, it helps the pH level of the soil to turn the flowers beautiful blue hue.
Be careful when applying fertilizer because this is an instance where you can definitely have too much of a good thing.
Over-fertilizing will make your hydrangeas produce more leaves than blooms.
Mulch and proper watering work together to produce the best deep blue blooms.
Adding coffee grounds to your soil will also help to get your Hydgrangea blooms the beautiful deep blue color.
Acidic soil conditions allows the petals to turn blue.
If you add acidic organic material like mulch to your hydrangeas, the soil will be more likely to remain moist and cool.
This too will enhance the color of your blooms!
Use Blue Hydrangeas as Natural Décor in Your Home
Once your hydrangea garden has produced these large, luscious blooms, they can be cut and brought inside to be used as centerpieces.
Potted hydrangea plants also make gorgeous room accents – you can usually find these beautiful flowers at your local garden center.
Blue and pink hydrangea flower buds always brighten whatever space they’re in!
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Even more ideas on sprucing up your outdoor space:
My friend Elizabeth’s amazing tulip garden.
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