This is a BLUE lace cap hydrangea. I know it’s blue because it was probably the first thing I planted 5 years ago when I started landscaping the property here at Turtle Creek. Every year it’s grown larger, fledged out a little more, and rewarded us with a cacophony of lazy soft blue crowns that bowed and dipped as you entered the walled garden where I do the hay bale thing.
Only, this year it’s white.
Now, I know that you can affect color changes by adding sulfur or lime or by increasing the acidity, but nothing has changed in that bed. And the other mop-head varieties lower down the way that feed from the run-off of this bed are still their mottled purple and brilliant blues. So it’s a pretty good bet there’s nothing wrong with the PH.
It’s a puzzlement.
And I tend to obsess about puzzlements.
So the other day I registered & logged on to a well-respected garden site (who will hereafter remain nameless) and posed a question about my botanical oddity, fully expecting someone with some serious plant smarts to save me.
I got spanked.
I was told –
“You are mistaken, Colored hydrangeas will NOT turn to white.”
“Goofus (goofus wasn’t the word…. it was much meaner), White Hydrangeas cannot change to any other color”
“Maybe you forgot that you had a white hydrangeas”
“This forum is for serious gardeners. You belong on the HGTV site.”
And other than someone telling me that my blue lace cap “might have possibly died over the winter and a white one magically sprung up in its place” (Master Gardener….really?) … they weren’t much help.
So, I bit my tongue…. which is a very difficult thing for me to do, and just resigned myself to the fact that I have lost the blue to the Bermuda Triangle of gardening.
Last Fall I purchased a RED lace cap for a different part of the garden. Different part means “other side of the house…completely.”
It was a distressed buy. The season was over, the blooms were all but gone, and the leaves looked buggy.
It was marked down from $29 to $6.
So I coddled it, fertilized it, did all the happy plant things you do to bolster sickly plants.
It started blooming this week –
Now, I know that here in the South – it’s a rare thing that you actually get a red hydrangea to return, they’ll turn mauve or pink once they get accustomed to the heat and soil. But it’s white.
And I don’t know why it’s white.
And it’s really starting to creep me out that it matches the other white lace cap.
I’m done with Master Gardeners, so if anyone normal out there knows any reason why they did this… tell me. I really, really want to know.