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Do Summer Crush Hydrangeas Change Color?

The primary color of the Summer Crush Hydrangea is red. Typically, it displays a red hue, but its color can shift due to various factors.

Similar to other mophead hydrangeas, it’s possible to alter the color of its blooms! Soil that is alkaline to slightly neutral encourages the iconic raspberry red flowers. Conversely, acidic soil conditions lead to the emergence of vivid purple blossoms.

do summer crush hydrangeas change color

Summer Crush Hydrangea in alkaline soil

How to change color?

The shift in color is primarily influenced by the soil’s aluminum and phosphorus content. Acidic soils make it easier for the plant to take up aluminum, while plants in neutral or alkaline soils more readily absorb phosphorus.

To alter the color of your Summer Crush hydrangea, you should start by checking the soil’s pH level. This is a simple task with the help of soil pH test kits found at your local gardening store.

If your soil’s pH is below 6.0, expect purple blooms. To switch to red flowers, you’ll need to incorporate garden lime into the soil, which is readily available at garden centers.

With a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5, Summer Crush will display pink or pinkish-red flowers. Adjusting the pH to 7.0 will turn the hydrangea a striking red.

For those who desire purple flowers but have neutral or alkaline soil, you’ll need to acidify the soil. This can be achieved by applying aluminum sulfate around the plant.

How long does it take for Summer Crush to change color?

Switching your soil from acidic to alkaline to achieve pink or red hues may require a bit of patience. It could take a year or two for the changes to take effect, as you’ll need to periodically add lime. Lime doesn’t work instantly, so gradual adjustments are necessary.

If you’re applying aluminum sulfate to hasten the process towards purple blooms, you might see results in as little as 60 days. However, you’ll need to continue applying the sulfate regularly at this interval to maintain the desired color.

For a more natural approach to achieve purple flowers, incorporating compost into the soil can help acidify it. This method requires patience too, as it usually takes at least a year to see results. After mulching your hydrangea in the spring, wait until fall to add more fresh compost for the best outcome.

Read also: How to care for Summer Crush Hydrangea

Do Summer Crush Hydrangeas stay pink?

do summer crush hydrangeas change color

Summer Crush Hydrangea in neutral soil

To maintain the pink color of your Summer Crush hydrangea, the approach varies with your soil type.

If your soil is acidic, typically leading to purple flowers, you’ll need to neutralize the soil to achieve pink blooms. As mentioned earlier, applying garden lime will help neutralize acidic soil.

Gradually add lime to the soil around your hydrangea until the flowers turn pink. Once you’ve achieved the desired color, reduce the frequency of lime application, only using it as needed to prevent the flowers from reverting to purple.

For those with alkaline soil, which tends to produce red flowers, you’ll aim for a neutral soil pH to get pink flowers. Begin by applying sulfate, followed by mulching the plant with compost.

Over time, this should result in pink blooms. However, be cautious not to acidify the soil too much, as this will cause the flowers to turn purple. To keep your Summer Crush hydrangea pink, simply refresh the mulch annually.

Will Summer Crush Hydrangeas turn blue?

Achieving a blue hue in Summer Crush hydrangeas is notably challenging. The soil needs to be highly acidic, with a pH of 5.5 or lower, for blue blooms to potentially emerge.

To attempt this level of acidity, you can mix the existing soil with compost and then regularly add aluminum sulfate, topping the hydrangea with more compost. However, even with these efforts, there’s no certainty of blue blossoms; a purple coloration is a more likely outcome.

Moreover, extremely acidic soil conditions can impair the hydrangea’s ability to absorb phosphorus, leading to potential discoloration of the leaves to black or brown-black. This scenario generally poses negative effects on the plant’s health.

Considering these points, opting for a naturally blue hydrangea variety might be a simpler route. Numerous blue varieties are available that reliably maintain their color without the need for highly acidic soil.

do summer crush hydrangeas change color

Summer Crush Hydrangea in acid soil

Color loss

There are moments when Summer Crush hydrangeas might not showcase their stunning red vibrancy. One reason could be exposure to too much direct sunlight. Planting them in areas that receive full sun can lead to not only leaf scorch but also flowers losing their rich color, turning into a pale, pinkish-white instead. To prevent this, finding a spot that offers morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade is key.

Another challenge arises when growing Summer Crush in warmer regions, specifically in zones 8 and 9. Achieving that deep red color can be difficult here due to the combination of more intense sunlight, higher temperatures, and other regional factors.

For those in the southern states, it’s crucial to provide your Summer Crush hydrangeas with significantly more shade compared to their counterparts in cooler, northern regions.