I didn't want pink!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by gardenmist, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    In August of 2020, I was given a couple of clippings from my neighbors bluish/dark purple hydrangea. I took 4 clippings home with me to see if I could get them to grow. First time in my life I had ever tried anything like this and they all rooted. I was pretty excited. Now, last summer it developed some buds and I got 'pink flowers' - why did that happen? Why aren't they blue? Here is a pic of each one. I would also like to know if anyone can help me to identify the name of this blue hydrangea?
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  3. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    Hi Junglekeeper,
    Thank you for sending me the link to the article on: How to Change Hydrangea Color. It was very helpful and quite easy to understand. I have one other question? I have 3 or 4 small garden beds around my home. Would the soil pH be the same in each bed or could it be different? Thanks again.
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I imagine they would have a similar pH unless they had been separately amended but then that's just a guess.
     
  5. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    Thanks Junglekeeper. I was just curious. I had never thought about that before.
     
  6. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Brittany is reputed for its blue Hydrangeas: the soil is generally very acidic.
    Here, old gardeners would add finely crushed slate to the soil. Not only it has an acidic pH but contains a lot of mineral elements that probably play a role in the colour of the flowers.
     
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  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As explained in the article Junglekeeper linked to the relevant mineral is aluminum. With its availability being affected by soil pH. The article also mentions associated problems with trying to change soil pH and keeping it changed - the fact is even a single point difference on the pH scale is a huge difference. So that accomplishing what seems a small increase or decrease anytime soon requires a comparatively large input of chemicals. And is therefore damaging to soil micro-life, because it is in reality a big change.
     
  8. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    Ron - I will definitely keep that in mind. First, I will test the soil where I'm planning its' new home. (Hopefully, the soil won't have to be altered at all). I also think I'll visit my friend (who gave me the clippings) and test her soil where her blue hydrangea is planted. Just to see the difference. Thanks Ron.
     
  9. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    Is Brittany the name of this blue hydrangea. I wonder where one would get crushed slate? Thanks so much for your help.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    @Ron B
    Would you then go so far as to say to recommend not altering the soil pH, that it's environmentally unsound? Or, are there alternatives to petrol based chemicals that are natural but slower acting?
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Here's one with a lot of background information on the hydrangea topic. hydrangea-colors.pdf (walterreeves.com). Otherwise regarding alteration of growing soil pH in general
    the way to not hammer the soil system in the process is to go about it slowly, over a period of years.
     
  12. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    That's an informative article. It states that aluminum is taken up from the soil and stored in the plant's flowers and leaves. I suppose it then follows that this material should be mulched composted and returned to the soil otherwise there would be a deficiency over time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No, it's a region of France ;-)
     
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  14. gardenmist

    gardenmist New Member

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    Good to know, I actually googled 'Brittany Hydrangea' and found some in France. So there is one called 'Brittany' but it's not mine. Thanks Michael.
     
  15. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    The roofs of (rich) houses in Brittany were covered with slates because it used to be a producer of slates. In other parts of France they used terracotta tiles, "Roman tiles" in the south, flat tiles in the north, not to ention thatched roofs like in Normandy and other regions for instance. And wooden tiles made from chesnut trees...

    So the Bretons would just use old slates that are relatively thin and would crush them with a hammer.

    The composition of slates from the region of Angers, Loire valley :

    Composition chimique moyenne de l'ardoise angevine :
    • silice 50 %
    • alumine 30,1 %
    • oxyde de fer 8 %
    • magnésie 2,3 %
    • potasse 3 %
    • soude 1,3 %
    • eau 3,3 %
    • divers 2 %
    (fr.wikipedia)
     

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