Summer Crush Hydrangeas: What is Wrong with This Picture?

summer crush hydrangeas that have turned purple

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, nothing you might say, it’s just hydrangeas in a vase. The only problem is, that they are Summer Crush hydrangeas and should be vibrant raspberry red or deep pink. They shouldn’t resemble a Grapette Soda)))

Summer Crush Hydrangeas

summer crush hydrangeas in a vase on desk

The color of the Summer Crush Hydrangea is what sold me on them. I loved it! The raspberry red was so appealing)))

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might recall the saga of my first Summer Crush planting. 🤪 If not, here’s a quick recap. We planted them, they got too much sun, and they died. We created a new bed in a different location and planted them again, but they almost died—still too much sun. So, we made another new bed in a shadier spot, and so far, they’re all surviving. Some are still stunted in growth, but we had some extremely cold weather this past winter, which is unusual for Mississippi.

newly planted sumer crush hydrangeas
Summer Crush Hydrangeas in New Location
Summer Heat Taking a Toll

We had a freeze that lasted for several days and I was so happy this spring when the plants started making their appearance. I couldn’t wait for them to start blooming))) When the blooms first started to appear, you really couldn’t tell what color they would be. I really hate to complain about their color, because all hydrangeas are beautiful and I am grateful that they are growing! Just a little disappointed in the purple blooms.

The Problem(s)

So I did some searching (on the internet of course) and it sounded like the most likely reason for purple hydrangeas was the pH of the soil. There were other causes that could have an effect too.

  • Soil pH: Acidic soil makes hydrangeas turn purple. Test your soil to see if it’s too acidic. (There are ways to test soil at home, I didn’t do this, I just acted on an assumption.)
  • Aluminum in Soil: Acidic soil releases aluminum, which turns hydrangeas purple. (Again, an assumption on my part.)
  • Water: Using acidic water can change the soil’s pH, turning hydrangeas purple. (Rain? Water from the garden hose?)
  • Fertilizer: Some fertilizers make the soil more acidic, causing hydrangeas to turn purple. (Our lawn is fertilized by a landscaping company. I’m clueless as to the type of fertilizer they use, but our grass looks good)))
  • Stress: Extreme weather or poor soil can stress hydrangeas, changing their color. Keep them healthy to maintain their color. (We did have some freezing winter weather. The bed was created in 2022 with the addition of Miracle Grow potting soil, so it shouldn’t be poor. The Miracle Grow company sure isn’t.)

The Solution

Finding a solution for my purple hydrangeas was sort of like looking at cardiac risk factors. You work on the ones you can change like diet, exercise, and not smoking. You can’t change your age, gender, or genes.

So for my hydrangeas, I can’t change the rain or affect the stress of bad weather. But the pH of the soil I can manipulate by adding some lime.

The first place I looked for lime was at Walmart but didn’t find it. I even looked in the canning section because I thought I could remember my mom using lime in canning pickles to make them crisp.

I went to the local feed store and found a 5-lb sack of hydrated lime. Not being sure about how to apply the lime to my Summer Crush hydrangeas, I just sprinkled it around the plant.

I’m not sure if it will work in changing the color of the blooms at this point, it probably should have been applied earlier in the spring, we will see.

Stay Tuned!

If the colors of my Grapette blooms change, I’ll post an update))) If not, I’ll just enjoy my purple Summer Crush hydrangeas for the rest of the summer)))

I almost forgot! Quick top for short-stemmed blooms. You can get them at dollar tree….only $1.25!

short stemmed hydranges in a vase filled with clear glass gems


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