Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hydrangeas

This post is an ode to my favorite flower...the Hydrangea. Yes, they are a little grandmaish...and I do love a Peony (husband thinks I'm saying Panties), but nothing is more beautiful than a Carolina blue Hydrangea. Here is a picture of my Wedding bouquet including the both:


Bridesmaids Bouquets were all Hydrangeas

My BFF from College threw me a Bridal Shower back in 2007 and gave me two beautiful pink Hydrangea plants. While we were on our Honeymoon my green-thumb parents decided to start a Hydrangea garden for us in our front yard and planted the two plus one.

Fast Forward to summer 2010 and here is what those three bushes grew into....

That's right, and when a hail storm was headed our way I decided to cut as many as I could so they wouldn't get damaged..... 


So, needless to say I don't spend too much $$ on fresh flowers! They have gotten too leggy but I don't know how to cut them back! (Nor do I want to!)


I love that they are pink, blue and purple but I am thinking I will turn them all blue. Here is the how-to taken from here:

To obtain a blue hydrangea, aluminum must be present in the soil. To ensure that aluminum is present, aluminum sulfate may be added to the soil around the hydrangeas.



Authorities recommend that a solution of 1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) aluminum sulfate per gallon of water be applied to plants (which are at least 2-3 years old) throughout the growing season. Important: Water plants well in advance of application and put solution on cautiously, as too much can burn the roots.


To make the aluminum available to the plant, the pH of the soil should be low (5.2-5.5). Adding aluminum sulfate will tend to lower the pH of the soil. Another method for lowering the pH is to add organic matter to the soil such as coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings etc.


If the soil naturally contains aluminum and is acid (low pH) the color of the hydrangea will automatically tend toward shades of blue and/or purple.


The choice of fertilizer will also affect the color change. A fertilizer low in phosphorus and high in potassium is helpful in producing a good blue color(25/5/30 is good. Potassium is the last number). Super phosphates and bone meal should be avoided when trying to produce blue.


After stating this with much certainty, I hasten to add that it is virtually impossible to turn a hydrangea blue for any length of time if it is planted in soil with no aluminum and that is highly alkaline (chalky). One would have to be very diligent in keeping the soil properly conditioned as stated above.


What do you have growing in your garden?

xoxo

5 comments:

lmcimeyers said...

I hope that Marilee sees this. Her Very Favorite flower is the Hydrangea and she also had them in her wedding and grows a few in her yard.
Lynn

Christie said...

Kat...I'm laughing...peonies and hydrangeas are my two favorite flowers, and my hubby also thinks i say "panties" when I say peonies so he requests that I say it often so he can laugh. ha!

Sundresses and Smiles said...

I've never thought of hydrangeas as grandmaish, haha! Your bushes are lovely, I especially like how all three colors intermixed!

Natalie said...

I am so jealous of that giant bush!! I love me some hydrangeas too. Sad to admitt but I usually sneak to this park near our house and clip them! I need to plant a massive bush like yours then maybe I won't have to steal flowers!

Megan said...

I dream of growing hydrangeas like that! they are definitely one of my favorite blooms also. i hope you're doing well and enjoying your little one!! i would still love to try and do a get-together!!