How to change the color of hydrangeas

Learn the best way to change the color of hydrangeas and transform your bold blooms

Close up of hydrangea
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learn how to change the color of hydrangeas to totally transform the look of your garden. Just like magic, you can swap the color from blue to pink and vise versa. 

It may sound too good to be true but it's actually pretty simple if you're armed with the right tools and advice. But you don't have to take our word for it. 

We asked gardening pros for their top tips when it comes to caring for hydrangeas. See how to change the color of these vibrant flower heads with just a few steps.

Why should you change the color of hydrangeas?

After figuring out where to plant hydrangeas in your garden, you may change your mind about the color of the flower heads. "You might want to change the color of your hydrangeas just for something different, or you might think blue or pink blooms will better suit your garden decor," says Brett Bennett, Director of Operations of PURCOR Pest Solutions.

Hydrangeas can be white, pink, blue, or purple depending on the environmental factors of the soil. To swap shades, all you'll need is a few ingredients and a little elbow grease. We asked gardening and landscaping experts for their advice on how to change the color of hydrangeas. 

Prep the hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

No matter if you're growing hydrangeas in pots or directly in the ground, you can swap the color of the large flower heads pretty easily. Before you get started, you may want to think about propagating your hydrangeas if you have blooms to spare.

The color of the hydrangea flowers comes down to the pH of the soil. "If the color of your hydrangeas no longer suits your garden design, you can change it by adjusting the soil's pH levels. You'll need to start by assessing your soil's current pH level, which you can easily do with an at-home test. Then, adjust it based on your desired hydrangea color," says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy, an on-demand home improvement service platform.

First, decide on which color you'd like the finished product to be. "If you want to change or manufacture the color of the hydrangeas you're growing, you need to adjust the soil's pH levels. A more acidic soil will give you blue hydrangeas while a more alkaline one will change the hydrangeas to pink. You can get purple hydrangeas by keep the pH level of the soil between 6 and 7," says Ryan Farley, CEO of LawnStarter.

How to change the color of hydrangeas

Pink hydrangeas

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As hydrangeas bloom every year, you may have changed your mind about which color you'd like in your garden. Thankfully, you can change the pH of the soil with a few simple ingredients. "There are a few other nutrients at play when it comes to altering the color on a more specific level, but in general, acidic soil means blue flowers and alkaline soil means pink flowers. You can add coffee grounds to your soil in order to shift the pH if you already have alkaline soil, or add limestone to make the soil more alkaline," says Brett Bennett, Director of Operations of PURCOR Pest Solutions.

You can pick up a budget-friendly addition to your garden to change the soil, like this hydrated lime available on Amazon. "To turn hydrangeas pink, take a gallon of water and dissolve 1 TBS of hydrated lime in it, then pour all of that in the soil around the flowers (without touching the plant directly. To turn hydrangeas blue, do the same thing but with aluminum sulfate instead of hydrated lime," says Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love.

While you may be able to swap the color around after pruning or deadheading hydrangeas, patience is the key. "It's important to note that color-changing results can take a long time to appear - sometimes not until the next growing season," says Andre. It's a crafty trick but may not have instant results.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.