The Hydrangea , usually called hydrangeas are a whole genus of plants gardening highly valued for its large inflorescences of bright colors. They are native to Asia, and among their species can be found shrubs, trees and even lianas.
Hydrangea flowers can be of various shades of pink, white and blue, although in this article we are going to focus only on how to care for blue hydrangeas , which are the most valued. Why is a blue hydrangea worth more than a white or pink one? Blue is an extraordinarily difficult color to see in nature. There are hardly any animals or plants that show blue tones, comparing the great biodiversity that exists, and most of those that do, are actually violet or use perception tricks in their structures. Hydrangeas are one of the few plants with the ability to accumulate aluminum from acidic soils, and this is what gives them that blue hue that makes them so desired.
Learn all about the care and cultivation of blue hydrangeas with this practical guide.
Caring for blue hydrangeas
These are the main basic care for blue hydrangeas .
Soil to get blue hydrangeas
The color of the hydrangea flowers varies according to the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the soil, producing blue hydrangeas in soils with a pH between 4.5 and 5 , pink with a pH between 6 and 6.5, and white with a pH around to 8.
With this in mind, your main requirement to get a blue-flowered hydrangea will be to get a sufficiently acidic soil . Changing the soil pH is not easy or fast, and also to measure it you need specific equipment, a measuring kit or taking soil samples to specialists. Pine needles or oak leaves can be used to acidify the soil naturally, although this method is time consuming.
The soil, in addition to being acidic, must have good drainage to avoid waterlogging and accumulations of water that would affect the health of the plant.
Compost for blue hydrangeas
Coffee grounds can also help you as a compost for blue hydrangeas , and if you decide on less organic but faster methods, aluminum sulfate, ammonium sulfate and elemental sulfur will be good options.
The next most important thing is to find a place in your garden or home with as stable a temperature as possible. The hydrangea needs both a good amount of natural light and shade, and it does not tolerate temperatures that are too high or too low, so you should find a cool, ventilated spot with good light in the mornings but shade in the afternoons.
Watering the blue hydrangeas
Irrigation must be done by spraying the water to keep it always humid, but never flooded. In the hottest months, especially in hot climates, it is advisable to also spray some water on the flowers and leaves of the hydrangea up to twice a day, to refresh it.
Lastly, it is very important to prune the hydrangea once a year. Pruning helps the growth of the plant to be balanced and stimulates flowering, so it must be done once the flowers wither, between spring and summer.
How to grow blue hydrangeas
The simplest method of growing hydrangeas is with cuttings. The ideal time to plant them is in spring or autumn, so that we avoid the hardest days of summer and the coldest months. Take into account all the points described above to choose a suitable location for the cutting, fulfilling its needs for light and shade. To make blue hydrangea cuttings, follow these steps:
- Prepare the soil with adequate compost, well drained and with an adequate level of acidity, or the hydrangea will lose its blue color. Peat is a very good option to facilitate drainage.
- Dig a hole as deep as the hydrangea root ball to be planted. Put the plant in it, and water it so that the roots and the soil of the root ball are moistened. Then cover the hole and water it again. A newly transplanted plant tends to need more moisture.
- Keep the soil moist for the first few days, but always avoiding puddles that would wither the plant.
Meaning of blue hydrangeas
Blue hydrangeas are traditionally given a host of meanings due to their rare and striking color. On the one hand, they are related to beauty, grace and emotions , while, on the other, there are those who associate them with negative emotions such as insensitivity, frigidity or vanity , because it is a plant that requires shade and humidity.
In addition, giving blue hydrangeas can also be a way to apologize to someone or even end a relationship, a point that directly conflicts with the recent trend of including these plants in bridal bouquets, perhaps as a way to break with them. old negative connotations of such a pretty plant.