Hydrangeas are amazing flowers that come with the opportunity to see colors of varying colors. But, why you should use Baking soda to grow Hydrangeas?
Baking soda can be used for growing Hydrangeas as it can alter the color of flowers by turning the soil slightly alkaline. It also helps in enabling bigger and healthier blooms.
How to Use Baking Soda to Grow Hydrangeas?
If you want to give your hydrangeas baking powder for benefits, you can’t just sprinkle it over the plants in its powder form! Doing so would result in uneven distribution of the powder. Also, leaves blemished with baking powder do not make an attractive sight.
There are two methods of mixing the baking soda to use for your hydrangeas. The first is that you can mix it in with the soil around your plant. The other is mixing it with water first and then giving it to your hydrangea plants. Here’s a look at both of them individually.
#1 – Mixed With Soil
You can mix the baking soda into your soil before potting it or planting it into the ground permanently. Using this method has the benefit of helping the hydrangea roots prepare for the winter cold.
Note- This method however may not be the best way to go about it as it may not be evenly distributed through the soil.
Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda and mix it evenly throughout all the soil.
#2 – Mixed With Water
The second method of using baking soda to grow hydrangea involves using water to dissolve and weaken the powder. This way the entire plant gets an equal amount of baking powder
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 2 quarts (1.9 L) of water.
This ratio should be enough to water four medium plants or more for smaller plants. Be sure to water the plants right away to avoid excess baking powder settling down and accumulating.
Precautions while giving Baking Soda for growing Hydrangea
If just using baking soda to sprinkle into the soil under the plant, take care not to get it on the leaves. It can cause the leaves to burn and look ugly.
a. Provide A Lot of Water
Hydrangeas can grow quite large, and therefore the roots need a lot of water. So you’re thinking no problem, I can give them lots of water! But wait, hydrangeas also don’t like to be over-watered. The soil around the plant should be moist or damp.
Hydrangeas tend to wilt when very hot, leading us to mistakenly think they need water. When this is not the case. Overwatering will affect the next season’s blooms, so do not drown them with water!
b. Don’t Overuse
Regular use of baking soda can impact the soil negatively. The bicarbonate can seep through the soil where it will accumulate and impact the nutrients in the soil. All of this will negatively affect plants planted there.
Why You Should Use Baking Soda to Grow Hydrangeas?
Baking soda mixed with water can be a good pick-me-up to revive your plants when they are drooping over. But apart from this, there are other reasons to use baking soda to improve the well-being of your hydrangea plants and possibly other garden plants.
1. Using Baking Soda to Alter Hydrangea Flower Color
Baking soda can be used to change the color of your hydrangea, this is because the soda is alkaline. It will change the pH of your soil, thus the color of the Hydrangea flower will also change.
If you use the baking soda mix around the plant, you will notice the blooms change to pink or red color. This is because any soil with a pH higher than 8 (alkaline) will prove to alter the color of the hydrangea flowers.
So if Hydrangea flowers are blue or purple, you can change them to pink or reddish instead!
2. Inhibits Fungus Growth
Gardeners have a wide variety of chemicals to control fungal outbreaks on their plants. The most common of these contain copper and sulfur, which are toxic. Not just to plants but possibly to your pets as well.
However, if you have young children in your home you might feel reluctant to use these chemicals around them.
A safer and wiser approach to controlling fungi can be achieved by using baking soda. Baking soda is nontoxic to humans and animals, not to mention easily available. It is an anti-fungal medium and can eliminate some forms of fungus.
3. Cooling-Off of Roots
In areas where it is very hot, it becomes so hot that the roots cannot survive and they die off. The plants are slow-growing and do not have the mechanism to keep cool. Hence, the baking soda keeps the roots cool and moist.
By using the baking soda you will be effectively protecting the hydrangea from both hot and cold temperatures.
4. Acts as a Fertilizer/Boost
Baking soda can be used as a fertilizer, and if you are using it as that, it should be diluted with water. Work on the rate of 1 teaspoon per 9 square feet of area.
Make sure that the baking soda is completely dissolved before starting or else it may not reach all areas of the plant. Place it uniformly around the base of your plants. Be careful not to pour it on any leaves, as it will cause them to burn!
5. Increases Tolerance Towards Frost
Anyone who has grown hydrangea would have probably noticed that these plants are not very cold hardy or frost hardy.
Baking soda helps to keep the hydrangea roots cool, and in this way they retain moisture. Keeping in the moisture also helps the roots survive the winter. It also makes them resistant to frost and prevents the roots from being severely damaged by cold and frost.
This extra help is great if you want your hydrangea to survive till spring. Also, it may be enough to push your hydrangea over the line if you are keeping it indoors. This especially applies if you live in very cold areas of the USA or Canada.
Other Benefits of Baking Soda For Hydrangea
- It is a natural substance that can be used without worrying about damaging the garden with harsh chemicals.
- It is an eco-friendly, and non-poisonous product for pets if mixed incorrectly and not left in large amounts.
How To Use Baking Powder as a Spray?
Making the anti-fungal spray is not that complicated. All you have to do is dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 quart of water (1.9 liters). Add a few drops of liquid soap, so that the spray will stick to the vegetation. Do not use the detergent liquid. Stir a bit then put in a spray bottle.
Spray the plant thoroughly on top and under the leaves, and leave to dry. Repeat if necessary.
Some gardeners say baking soda is a miracle ingredient while others may not share this same opinion. It comes down to the individual. Have tried everything to provide good health and benefits to your hydrangea but nothing is working?
If so, you can use baking soda to grow hydrangea and provide other benefits:
- Changing flower color
- Cooling the roots
- Increases cold tolerance of hydrangeas
- Providing a boost to drooping hydrangeas
However, if you do decide to use baking soda to grow hydrangea, be sure to use it properly. There are negative effects of using it incorrectly!
Yes, baking soda can change the hydrangea flower color by making the soil acidic. But, note that this change is not likely to happen overnight or in a short period of time. Also, you have to constantly check to see if your soil’s pH levels are being maintained.
To become purple, hydrangea flowers require soil that has a pH between 6 and 7. You can lower the soil pH by adding baking soda and other components that acidify the soil.
Only when conditions reach this stage will it be possible for the flowers to also change their color. Any pH over 8 will start to yield pink-colored flowers.