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My son bought me a lovely hydrangea in a small pot for Mother's day. It was sold as a pot plant. Am I right in thinking I could plant it outside, or would it have been forced or something to flower at this time and so be unsuitable for the garden. Does anyone know?

There are several different varieties - do you know which it is?

If it's a relatively hardy type I'd keep it indoors until the weather is much more spring-like - probably until the last frosts have , then it could go outside - I've got one that I've had for years, I've kept potting it on and now it's in a big tub which I move to a sheltered corner for the winter then back to a semi-shady corner on the terrace in the summer.

 The main reason for keeping mine in a pot is that it's a blue one, and as we're on alkaline soil here, I can use acid compost and then, even if  I water it with tap-water I can add some of the blueing powder you can buy at the GC, it still remains a deep and vibrant blue rather than turning pink.

I've no idea what variety it is. It's quite small, I think it came from Marks and Spencer! I'll try it in a tub in the garden after flowering as you suggest and hope for the best. Thanks.

Hi Dove, an older gardener on our allotment told me if i wanted to turn Hydrangeas from blue to deep purple you can introduce  alaminium or iron mixes into the soil,he has one deep deep blue purple, he says he put a rusty nail into the roots when he planted it ,does this make sence to you ,hes assured me he,s not pulling my leg and his garden is stunning, iv got about 30 cuttings for this years planting out so i,ll give it a try and see what happens,



I think the colour of the flower is determined by the acid/alkaline soil. But im not sure if this affects all hydrangea plants?



Hi Alan, there are lots of Old Gardener's stories about how to change the colour of hydrangea blooms with the burying of various metal objects underneath them.  As far as I understand it I think their science is a bit dodgy - not sure how a rusty nail changes the acidity/alkalinity of the soil.  

As I garden on East Anglian chalk and therefore have an alkaline soil, and I like blue hydrangeas, I bought a good blue variety and grow it in a tub in ericacious compost and use a proprietory bluing compound  if I use tap water to water it.

This RHS article explains it a bit better than I can, and also points out that the colour changing only applies to macrophylla cultivars 

chilli lover

So good to see you posting again Dove  . Thanks for the link - I am plant-sitting again for SS (Does that exist)? and he says his has changed from blue to pink so hope to bring it back again


Thanks  Plant sitting for Social Services?  Going by the dying plants I see in Soc. Services offices someone needs to give them a bit of tlc!!! 

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