Blue hydrangeas can brighten up any garden. Not surprisingly, they are in a lot of demand. Here is everything you need to know about blue hydrangea varieties and how to choose hydrangeas best for your garden.
Endless Summer original hydrangea
Endless Summer hydrangea is one of the best blue varieties to plant in your garden belonging to the mophead hydrangea variety. This plant tends to bloom again and again. You will be able to enjoy beautiful blue blooms throughout the season.
This variety is a dwarf plant, meaning that it grows up to 4 feet long and wide. This compact size is a good option when you don’t have a lot of space in your garden.
You will need slightly acidic soil for your Endless Summer to grow blue blooms. You can increase the acidity by mulching or adding aluminum sulfate. In alkaline soil, the color of the blooms may be slightly purple or pink. The leaves of this plant can also turn yellow in alkaline soil.
You can prune the hydrangea anytime as it grows on both old and new wood. It grows nicely in the sun as well as in partial shade.
Nikko Blue hydrangea
Nikko Blue hydrangea is also a great plant for your garden. It blooms several times throughout the year. It starts to bloom before most other hydrangeas.
This plant starts flowering in the first week of June and lasts till the end of summer.
Nikko Blue is blue, but in alkaline soils, it can change to lavender or pink. So, if you want to keep the flowers blue, you need to keep the soil acidity below 6.0.
Nikko Blue does well in zones 6 to 9. However, if you plant it in a place protected from cold winds, it can also survive in zone 5. But in this climate, it will need full sun.
The maximum size of this variety is 6 feet in length and width. It is medium-sized and can be planted in most gardens.
If it is planted in a region with a hot and dry climate, it will require more frequent watering than most other hydrangea varieties.
LA Dreamin hydrangea
L.A. Dreamin is a good variety to grow in sunny places. This variety can grow in full sun without the risk of getting burnt or losing color.
This plant can grow flowers of different colors all in one bush. However, in more acidic soil, you will get more blue blooms. The shape of the flowers is spherical and slightly flattened.
L.A. Dreamin is extremely resistant to heat and frost. It can be grown in zones 5 and 6 in the North, while in the south, it can be grown even in zone 10, which is very rare among hydrangeas.
This variety is medium-sized, growing up to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. You can prune it to control the size, as it grows on both old and new wood.
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Nantucket Blue hydrangea
Nantucket blue hydrangeas start blooming from early summer and last till the first frost. The flowers are in beautiful clusters of light blue but can turn pink if the soil is alkaline.
This plant is quite hardy and can grow in zones from 5 to 9. It can grow well in full sun as well as partial shade. It needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to bloom abundantly.
Nantucket Blue grows up to 5 feet in height and width and has a medium growth rate, therefore it does not need to be pruned regularly.
Tiny Tuff Stuff hydrangea
Tiny Tuff Stuff hydrangea is one of the tiniest varieties of blue hydrangeas. It grows up to 2 feet in height and width at the most. At this size, this plant is best grown in containers.
Tiny Tuff Stuff has two types of flowers. One is fertile blue, while the other is sterile and not fully open. This results in an effect called a lace cap.
This plant is very hardy, thus making it good to grow in zones 5 and 6. It grows in both full sun and partial shade. As it is a dwarf plant, it does not require much water.
Big Daddy Hydrangea
Big Daddy hydrangea is a large plant. It can grow up to 6 feet in height and width. It has large leaves and large clusters of flowers.
Big Daddy hydrangea is a good choice if you have a lot of space in your garden.
Your garden will look beautifully decorated with large blooms of blue flowers. The blue color will stay if the soil is acidic. If the soil is neutral, it will turn purple.
This plant is not very resistant to frost. It can be grown from zones 6 to 9. It also should not get more than 8 to 9 hours of sunlight a day.
Owing to its large size, this plant needs extra watering during periods of drought. It also needs sufficient fertilizer to get large flowers.
Everlasting Revolution Hydrangea
Everlasting Revolution hydrangea is a dwarf plant, not growing more than 2 feet in length or width. It also grows at a slower pace than most hydrangeas. That is why it does not need pruning and can be grown in containers.
This hydrangea has light blue flowers in acidic soil. The edges of the petals have a white outline, which gives a different look to the flowers. The color of the flowers can change to pink in alkaline soil and purple in neutral soil.
Everlasting Revolution can grow in most territories in the USA. Sometimes, in the northern states, the stems can die back during winters without snow. This plant does not always grow on new wood.
Let’s Dance Rhythmic Blue hydrangea
The Let’s Dance Rhythmic Blue hydrangea is unique because it can grow partly colored. It can have partly blue, pink, and lavender colors in a flower at the same time. You will need to add aluminum sulfate to get a vivid blue color.
This hydrangea grows up to 3 feet in height and width, so it is very compact. It can also be grown in containers and is good for gardens that have less space. It has good tolerance to heat and frost.
This variety grows well in afternoon shade. It will need frequent watering during dry periods. Providing extra fertilizer and mulching the soil around the plant helps in abundant flowering.
Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea
The Mathilda Gutges is one of the bluest hydrangeas. You will need to have very acidic soil to get the bluest color.
The pH of the soil needs to be at least 5.5 to get a deep blue color. In alkaline soil, this color will change to pink, and sometimes the intensity of the color can be so high that it can turn crimson or red.
This variety is compact in size, being 3 feet wide. It can grow well in a variety of soils. With enough fertilizers, this plant can flower generously.
Growing blue hydrangeas
It is a well-known fact that the color of hydrangea flowers can be changed by changing the pH of the soil. However, this is only partly true.
Firstly, not all hydrangeas can produce blue flowers. Some varieties of hydrangea, like Annabelle hydrangea, oakleaf hydrangea, and some of the pee gee hydrangeas only produce white or cream flowers. Though, they can sometimes turn slightly pink towards the end of the season.
Usually, hydrangea that flower in colors ranging from pink through purple and blue belong to the hydrangea cultivars mopheads and lace caps. These hydrangeas can change color based on the pH of the soil.
The hydrangea flowers bloom pink when grown in alkaline soil, while the colors get bluer as you move towards acidic soil.
So, it is the chemistry of the soil that determines the color of the blooms of hydrangea. This is why the names of the hydrangea varieties don’t mean much.
For example, Nikko Blue and Pretty in Pink both have an equal chance of blooming either pink or blue flowers. It just depends on the soil they are grown in.
No matter which color of hydrangea you get, there is no guarantee that it will bloom in that color once it is planted in your garden. So, to manipulate the color of your blooms, you will have to manipulate the pH level and the mineral content of the soil.
Not only that, to maintain the conditions required for the specific color of the flowers, you might need to apply changes to the soil several times during the growing season.
Experimenting with the colors will work better when you plant the hydrangea in a large pot as it will be easier to maintain the soil chemistry with a smaller amount of soil.
First, you will need to check the pH of the soil. It can be difficult to make drastic changes to the pH of the soil and it can be harmful to your plant. So, understand that the health of your plant is the most important.
Conditions for growing blue hydrangea
For hydrangeas to bloom blue, you need to grow the plant in soil with a pH of 5.2 to 5.5. If you have alkaline soil, you can increase the acidity by applying Soil Acidifier as instructed on the package.
You can also lower the pH of the soil gradually by applying an acidic organic mulch that includes pine needles or pine bark.
If the pH of your soil is very high, it might be very difficult to get blue flowers, even if the soil contains a lot of aluminum. This is because alkaline soil tends to lock up the aluminum, making it unavailable to the plant.
Besides the soil pH, blue hydrangeas are like moist soil. They also need partial shade during the hot parts of the day.