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Feeding hydrangeas with citric acid is an effective way to get the desired flower color. A feature of the plant is the preference for a slightly acidic soil environment. Hydrangea will not grow on alkaline soil. Not every gardener can provide the bush with natural conditions for development. To slightly acidify the soil and create the necessary conditions for hydrangeas to bloom, many use citric acid. Such feeding provides the shrub with comfortable conditions for growth and does not require special knowledge or skill.
You can achieve such a spectacular flowering with the help of simple folk remedies.
Is it possible to water hydrangea with citric acid
The use of the substance is justified. It is due to the fact that it is impossible to grow a beautiful flower in alkaline or neutral soils. Such conditions are not suitable for a plant.
This is due to some features:
- Alkaline soil. Most often, such a reaction is produced by saline soil in arid zones of the steppe or forest-steppe regions. It is formed on a limestone base. In this state of the soil, trace elements pass into insoluble compounds (hydroxides), which become inaccessible to hydrangeas as food. These are such important elements as zinc, phosphorus, iron, boron, manganese. Even the application of fertilization does not help to provide the hydrangea with a sufficient amount of vitamins, which affects the development of the flower. The second parameter is the water-physical properties of the soil: in a dry state, it is dense, poorly air-permeable. When watering or after rain, on the contrary, it floats, becomes viscous. Growing on such soils will result in chlorosis.
- Neutral soil is more suitable for growing crops. On it, the hydrangea gives a soft, pale pink color of flowers. But in this case, the acidity level should be the same throughout the season. And growth will still be slower.
The ability to regulate acidity will create a unique bush for composition in the garden
The color of hydrangea inflorescences directly depends on the acidity indicator:
- a value of 4 pH gives a violet color;
- if it is equal to 4.5 pН, then the color turns blue;
- with a concentration variation of 4.8-5.5 pH, it produces blue and pink buds;
- values from 6.3 to 6.5 pH give a rich pink tint;
- for 7 pH the characteristic color is bright pink;
- a white tone appears on neutral soil.
A gardener, observing the flowering of hydrangeas, can easily figure out when it is necessary to change the pH value. One of the proven folk remedies for acidification is acid - oxalic, acetic, malic. But the most common option is lemon, which can also be watered with hydrangea. In the process of growing, even on acidic soil, the flower absorbs the necessary substances, and the pH value changes. Maintain the desired value by acidification with lemon powder.
How to dilute citric acid for hydrangea watering
So that the prepared solution does not harm your beloved plant, you should prepare it correctly. An acidifying solution is prepared from two components - pure water and citric acid in powder.
The advantage of citric acid is availability and low cost
You will need 10 liters of liquid and 2 tbsp. l. powder. It is best to dilute the acid with a little water and then pour the solution into a bucket. With the ready-made composition, you can already fertilize the hydrangea with citric acid.
Important! It is necessary to mix the components until the crystals are completely dissolved.
How much solution to prepare can be decided with the application rate. It is equal to 1 bucket per 1 sq. m of the planting area of the hydrangea. Thus, the gardener calculates exactly how much solution he will need. You can replace the powdery component with freshly squeezed lemon juice. You will need the same amount.
How to acidify hydrangea soil with citric acid
There are several rules that gardeners need to know and follow.
The first step is to analyze the acidity of the soil to make sure the operation is necessary.
This is done in various ways, using:
- A special device. It comes with instructions, it's easy to use. The indicator is recorded very accurately.
- Litmus paper. It is sold complete with an indicator that determines the pH value by color change.
- Vinegar and soda. For the procedure, you will need glass on which the test soil is laid. Alkaline soil, when watered with vinegar, is covered with foam. Sour reacts to soda.
After determining the acidity level, it is already possible to decide on the need for acidification.
The procedure for increasing acidity is carried out through watering the plant. This technique is the least costly and time consuming, allows you not to burn the plant roots and allow them to easily absorb the solution. Beforehand, it is important to water the plant with plain water.
Watering is indispensable, otherwise you can harm the plant
So the gardener will facilitate the penetration of the solution into the soil and protect the roots from burns.
The first time the hydrangea needs to be poured with citric acid after the buds wake up. Then you will need to follow the irrigation schedule for the entire growing season - once every 2 months. Some gardeners increase the frequency of activities up to 1 time per month. This can be done on alkaline soil, but not more often so as not to overdo it. It is very important to carry out acidification with citric acid during the period of budding and flowering of hydrangeas. Some visual information:
To fertilize hydrangea with citric acid without harm to the plant, there are some nuances. Experienced gardeners willingly share their findings:
- The optimum balance for a lush hydrangea bloom is 5.5 pN. It is best to stick to this value and try not to exceed it.
- In the process of development of the shrub, the acidity of the soil decreases due to the absorption of the necessary elements. Therefore, the use of lemon is justified even on slightly acidic soil.
- The acidity always increases when fertilizers are introduced into the soil, especially saltpeter, ferrous sulfate or urea.
- Hydrangeas need sufficient acidity to produce blue tones. A decrease in the indicator leads to the appearance of pink or lilac flowers.
- The absence of citric acid can be replenished with oxalic acid (in the same proportions) or vinegar (100 ml per 10 liters of water).
- Fertilization with a solution of powder has a very quick effect and is considered "first aid" for perennials.
- In addition to the acidity of the soil, it is necessary to monitor compliance with the remaining conditions - the correct location, adherence to the schedule of watering and fertilizing. The light regime and the looseness of the soil are very important so that the roots receive enough air.
- Indoor hydrangeas also require soil acidification. The event is carried out in a similar way using a solution.
Maintaining the required acidity level allows you to get a varied color of hydrangea inflorescences and a healthy look of the plant.
For the sake of a beautiful result, gardeners are ready to use the most extraordinary means.
Feeding hydrangeas with citric acid is an effective and quick means of restoring flower health and improving color. This method can be used throughout the growing season without much time and money.