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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Pink Hydrangeas | Containers On Shady Deck

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Hydrangeas planted in containers on a shady deck were blue last summer, but are pink this year. Although we added aluminum sulfate to the plants earlier this spring, we added it too late for the first blooms to be blue. 

Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck with Adirondack chair

Over the years I planted hydrangeas in the ground without any success. The plants always eventually died after struggling during the long hot, dry summers and heavy clay soils in north Texas. Then I discovered hydrangeas kept in large containers on the shady deck and porch not only survived, but bloomed! 

P I N K   H Y D R A N G E A S 
I N   C O N T A I N E R S 
O N   A   S H A D Y   D E C K 

Nantucket Blue Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck
These Nantucket Blue® plants were new last summer, stayed on the open deck over the winter, went dormant, and sprouted new growth with flower buds this spring. The tag on the plants indicated the plants are hardy -20° to -30°. 

Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck are covered with bloomsThe plants are covered with blooms and continue to add new buds. 

But, last summer they had blue blooms, not pink. 

Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck were blue last summer
This is a photo of the hydrangeas a year ago on the covered porch in the same location. 

The Color of Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck is determined by the pH balance of the soil
Blue is my favorite color for hydrangeas. The color of the blooms for some hydrangeas, including Nantucket Blue®, is determined by the pH balance of the soil. We added aluminum sulfate to keep the blooms blue earlier this spring, but the plants already had flower buds. 

Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck range in color from soft pink to lavender-tinged pink
While blue is my favorite hydrangea color, we are enjoying the pink blooms this summer. The colors range from soft pinks, bright pinks, lavender-tinged pinks, and a few peachy pink blooms. 

The lesson learned to dictate the color of Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck is to add aluminum sulfate before flower buds appear

The lesson learned is to add the aluminum sulfate before the plants begin sprouting new growth.  

Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck have blue buds also
To my delight, two of the newest buds have pale blue petals. Evidently, the aluminum sulfate is affecting the newest buds. 

Continue to add aluminum sulfate to change the color of Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck
Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas will set new flowers throughout the summer and blooms on new growth as well as old stems. Therefore, we will continue to add aluminum sulfate to coax the newest blooms to be blue.  

Transplant Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck into larger containers
We plan to transplant the hydrangeas into larger containers before winter to allow the plants to grow larger. And, late next winter just as the dormant plants begin to sprout new green growth, we will add aluminum sulfate before the flower buds appear so the blooms will be blue, not pink. 


See Tips to Get Hydrangeas to Bloom for 5 important factors. 

More posts about hydrangeas . . .  


  1. Eventhough I know you love blue these are outstanding hydrangeas. They are thriving. I love tge lighter blue of the new flower.



  2. These photos are swoon-worthy! Those hydrangeas are spectacular and I know how hard it is to grow them in the metroplex.

    My first thought when I viewed your pictures was what an ideal spot for an outdoor wedding, family portraits, bridal showers etc. Your patio is such an inviting,lovely spot.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  3. They are beautiful, and I am encouraged to try growing hydrangeas in pots now. Do you think you will eventually attempt to plant these in the ground once they outgrow large containers?


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