The mystery of the color of the Hydrangea

Discussion in 'How's It Growing?' started by Arlette, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    I love Hydrangea and in the garden I have several (paniculata, petiolaris, macrophylla....). I've always been intrigued by the "mystery" of their color changes.

    I have a macrophylla '"Blaumeise" that was given to me in pot 12 years ago as "pink" but since I put it in the ground it has changed, slowly, slowly, its color and today it is a decided blue.
    ortensia Marina.jpg Hydrangea.jpg e22f5b5d-8f4e-4688-bd99-6815d7970ca4 (2).jpg

    A 2009 cutting of H. macrophylla that grew up with pink and celestial flowers
    Talee interrate 2009 (2).jpg
    in the past three years is flourishing in white that is veering slightly to light blue.
    Ortensie (3).jpg
    And this year is in this way
    28e32a28-aba3-4868-ab56-31e3561336bc.jpg

    Everything normal will be said, matter of water and soil! On this I do not discuss but I wonder why another macrophylla in the same soil, irrigated with the same water does exactly the opposite?

    In 2016 it was as in the picture on the left in the past three years it has begun to turn bright pink
    and this year it is like in the other picture.
    2016.jpg Ortensia di nuovo rosa (3).jpg

    Moreover why two cuttings of 2011 from Hydrangea macrophylla white white (and to what I know the "whites" would not bleach color except in some cases of rather old plant) have both produced flowers of color?
    Ortensia bianco colorata (2) (1).jpg ortensia bianca con fiore colorato (4) (1).jpg

    I can't give reason for what is happening!

    Can anyone help me understand? Thank you!

    Note - I'm not sure if this is the section suitable for my discussion but I read that it will eventually be moved.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning @Arlette, my wife and I love them too. We don' t have the colours as we like the whites to accompany our maples.
    Here is mine this morning just starting to flower. It's Hydrangea Peniculata Great Star.
    Re your question why its veering to blue, this could well be what you are watering with, ie tap water. Often changes the PH to more alkaline.

    Love all yours btw and great photos.
     

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  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    An old gardener friend who is long past now, always put old nails around his Hydrangeas and they were the most beautiful blue I've ever seen. Tbh he did not have a clue back in the 50' s about PH. But he just knew what worked from trial and error over decades of gardening.
    These days we have the science, but we must not lose this hand me down knowledge, both IMO are equally important.
     
  5. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    @Acerholic Good morning to you too (and to your wife, of course!).
    Thank you for your answer and, perhaps because I have recently registered and am still a little "out" with the dynamics of the forum, but from the text I thought I could see your Hidrangea but I don't see it?!?!
    As for my problem, I confirm that all plants are irrigated with the same water. The discordant color change of the various plants leaves me so disconcerted that I even inquired if in the meantime there had been a change in the water supplied (perhaps the insertion of some different disinfectant) but they assured me that in the last 5 years the water is provided in the same way.

    Ciao, ciao and happy Sunday!
     
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Here it is again @Arlette don't know why it didn't show.

    Your question, I do think it is down to the PH btw, hard water will increase this. Lowering will give better blues, you already have a wonderful blue as seen in your photos no 2, 3 and 6. There maybe an imbalance in the PH of your soil and perhaps purchasing a meter might be a good idea.
    Have a lovely weekend to you also.
     

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  7. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    Beautiful! I have one that gives me great satisfaction with its great white panicles!
    Do you think it is in an unsuitable position, in full shade, but when I buried it I thought wrongly, that it loved exposure in the shade while it is one of the few Hydrangee that loves the sun !!!!
    090.JPG
    And to think that I had it, a few years ago, for 2 euros for how badly it was! Saving plants in the nursery always pays off!

    Ciao, ciao!!!!
     
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  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Arlette, Paniculata's do like full to partial sun to get their best, but tbh yours looks so beautiful and healthy I would not consider moving it. If you can open up above it a little, it will help in the long term.
    What a bargain you got there.

    Bye, bye !!!! I think that's the right translation lol.
     
  9. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    @Junglekeeper I also thank you for kindly answering!
    Your attachment is very interesting even if it does not help me in the specific problem of my Hydrangea.
    I have never, in fact, used any precaution to change the color of the flowers of my plants both because I liked that of the time of purchase or execution of cuttings, and because I knew that I would have to periodically repeat the treatments because the "human" interventions have limited duration in time.
    I also knew that the color could change based on the elements contained in my terrain, but I never expected them to go beyond the transition from "red/blue" and vice versa and did not imply strange "medium tones" or different anomalies!

    Note -I'm always a little bit prolix when I talk about topics I'm passionate about and often forget that writing in a language that isn't mine (and even rather "rusty" after retirement) can create difficulties of understanding in the reader. I apologize and promise to contain myself!!!!
    Ciao, ciao and good Sunday!
     
  10. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    @Acerholic 4-5 years ago in my climate, exposure to full sun would have been suitable but, in recent years, the increased power of solar radiation makes a bright half-shadow prefer.
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Totally agree Arlette. We are also moving more trees etc into shade these past few years and that's in cold wet England.
    Recommendations from 10 to 20 years ago need to consider how the climate is changing and re appraise positioning.
    Your Hydrangeas are wonderful btw, glad you joined the UBC forums and shared your experience and photos.
     
  12. Arlette

    Arlette Active Member

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    Let me coplet the overview of my Hydrangeas, one is missing, the petiolaris a monster of vigor !!
    It is part of the same "rescue" of the paniculata and it was 70 cm of tightly twisted branches, some of which broke while I untangled them.
    And today it is like this:
    Panoramica petiolaris (3).jpg
    Who would have said that?
     
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  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    It seems so much more rewarding when you have rescued a plant and to see yours, it was well worth it . 'Well done'.
     

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