Good or Bad? Baking Soda For Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are beloved for their gorgeous blooms and the way some varieties can shift from vibrant blues to pretty pinks.

You may have heard that a sprinkle of baking soda is the secret to brighter blossoms and healthier hydrangeas, but is there any truth to this popular garden tip?

Baking Soda’s Potential Benefits

  • Color Change…Sometimes: Baking soda is alkaline and might temporarily raise the pH of your soil. In specific hydrangea varieties, this can encourage pink blooms. However, this effect isn’t guaranteed for all hydrangeas.
  • Tackling Overly Acidic Soil: If your soil is too acidic for hydrangeas, some baking soda might help in the short term. But be careful – you don’t want to swing the pH too far in the other direction.

The Downsides of Baking Soda

  • Lack of Nutrients: Baking soda doesn’t offer hydrangeas the nutrition they need for healthy growth and abundant flowers.
  • Potential for Overuse: Using too much can damage roots and hinder your hydrangea’s ability to thrive.
  • A Fleeting Fix: Baking soda’s effects on soil pH are often temporary, meaning you’ll need to keep reapplying it.

So, Is It Good or Bad?

The verdict? Baking soda falls short as a reliable fix for hydrangeas. While it might have very minor, temporary uses, there are far better ways to give your hydrangeas the care they deserve.

What to Do Instead

  1. Start with Soil Testing: Before adding anything, get a soil test. This will reveal your starting pH and guide your next steps.
  2. Aluminum Sulfate for Blue Blooms: If you desire those iconic blue hydrangea blooms, aluminum sulfate is the best way to make the necessary soil acidity adjustments.
  3. Nourish with Hydrangea Fertilizer: A fertilizer specifically formulated for hydrangeas ensures they get all the nutrients they need to flourish.

The Takeaway

While the baking soda trick is tempting, don’t rely on it as a primary care method for your beautiful hydrangeas. Stick to trusted methods for vibrant blooms and long-term plant health!