Is vinegar useful for hydrangeas? Well, like everything in life: it depends. And it will depend on what you want to use it for, and whether they really need it or not considering the land they are growing on.
And it is that vinegar is a liquid that has a very low pH, for which we say that it is acid. Therefore, it can be useful when growing our favorite plants, but only in specific cases.
When to use vinegar on hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas are acid plants. This means that They grow in soils with a pH between 4 and 6.. When we plant them in soils with a higher pH, or in other words, when they are kept in alkaline soils, very soon they begin to show the typical symptoms of the iron chlorosis: the yellowing of the leaves, and later their fall.
But beware, because the pH of the soil can be lowered or raised with the water it receives and, also, with the manures and fertilizers that we put on it. Therefore, if we have a plant in acidic soil, but we water it with very alkaline water, for example, sooner or later the pH will rise, thus turning the acidic soil into alkaline. And the opposite can also happen: if the soil is alkaline, but we irrigate with very acidic water, in the end the pH of that soil will drop.
Then, When will we use vinegar on hydrangeas? In these cases:
- If you have been watering them with alkaline water and you realize after a while.
- If the soil or substrate has a pH of 7 or higher.
And in no other.
Vinegar can only be used for that, to lower the pH of alkaline water and/or soil.. Hydrangeas, in fact, do not need it if they are planted in acidic or slightly acidic soils, and if they also receive rainwater or one that has a suitable pH for them (between 4 and 6).
How to use?
The pH of vinegar is very acidic; so much so that it is between 2,5 and 3.0. For this reason, The first thing we have to do is find out the pH of the water we use for irrigation. for example with a PH meter, like the strips. These have a simple way of use: you just have to take a strip and put it in water. Then, when you take it out, you will see that it has changed color. Well, that color is the one you have to locate on a color scale that is included with the kit, where each color corresponds to a degree of pH. It is similar to this:
Once you know what the pH of the water is, you will be able to know if you have to reduce it or not. Of course, if it’s 7 or higher, then you’ll need to add some vinegar and mix it up.
We cannot tell you the exact amount of vinegar to use because it will depend on the pH of the water. What we will tell you is that the more alkaline the water is, the more vinegar you will need. But yes, it is preferable to add a small amount of vinegar, mix it, and measure the pH of the water again to have it better controlledrather than pour a large amount and the pH of the water drops too low.
In this way, not only is there no risk of turning the water too acidic, but your hydrangeas will also be able to keep their leaves a beautiful green color.
And if I don’t want to use vinegar, how do I lower the pH of the water?
Hydrangeas are plants that need, yes or yes, water with a low pH. That is why it is interesting that, when the one we have is alkaline, the vinegar is used to lower the pH. However, this can also be done with lemonfollowing the same steps mentioned above (ie add a small amount of lemon to the water, mix and then check the pH of the water).
Even To avoid iron chlorosis in hydrangeas, what we can do is fertilize it with a fertilizer for acid plants such as thisas it has the most important nutrients you need. But yes, it must be used as specified by the manufacturer on the packaging.
Vinegar can be very useful, but only if used properly.