Big Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

hydrangea macrophylla 'twist n shout'

Zone: 3 to 9
Exposure: Part shade
Height: 3′ to 8′ (depending on the variety)
Width: 3′ to 6′
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: blue, pink, purple, red, white

As the name suggests, the big leaf Hydrangea has large leaves and equally impressive, large flowers that can be blue, pink, purple, red or white in color.

For many of the lace-cap (above) and mophead varieties (below), you can actually control the color of the flower by changing your soil pH.

The more acidic the soil the bluer they will be. The more alkaline the soil the pinker they will be. And if your soil is fairly neutral, you’ll end up with purple or a mix of blue and pink flowers.

blue Hydrangea macrophylla flower close up

If your flowers are pink or just not blue enough for your liking, add some soil acidifier (like you would normally put on rhododendrons), and watch the bloom colors change.

Note: For clarification, this trick won’t work with white or red hydrangeas, so you make sure you have one of the pink or blue Hydrangea macrophylla varieties.

If you’re having problems with your hydrangeas not blooming at all, read this list of potential problems.

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