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RE: Hydrangia "Nikko Blue"

Well, from what I'm picking up on the web, the rusty nail thing for blue
blossoms is a myth.  Here is what one web site said:  
"Someone said that if you put rusty nails in the hole before planting a blue
hydrangea it would make it more blue. Is this true?
No. The rusty nails will add more iron, which is fine if the leaves of the
hydrangea are turning yellow. An iron chelate will do just as well to solve
the problem. However, the blue color of the flowers is due to acidic soil
reacting to aluminum compounds that are always present. If you want pink
blossoms, you need alkaline soil that will block the aluminum compounds from
being taken in by the plant."  http://www.urimga.org/perennials.html

But it is a popular myth.  I found as many sites that said that it does work
and one that said they need iron to bloom blue in one paragraph and in
another paragraph said to use aluminum sulfate :  

Gail from the USA asks: What do I use to fertilize my blue hydrangea bushes?
They start out blue but are fading to soft pink and yellow flowers. Also, is
it wise to tie them to support the weight on the bush? Any and all help will
be appreciated. 
Peter from the USA replies: Blue hydrangea need iron to produce blue
flowers. Try putting some large iron nails in the ground around the base if
you cannot find the suitable 'Blue Hydrangea' fertilizer."  

As opposed to:  

"To make them blue, buy aluminum sulphate in your gardening store. The
directions for mixing with water are on the package but it's 1tb per gal.
Water the plant once a week starting in the spring.

Thanks Peter - Ed."  http://www.yourgarden.com/qa/eng/bod_qa11_uk.htm  from
the same site!

The American Hydrangea Society recommends this site by one of their members,
Judith King:  http://www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/colorchange.html  which
gives detailed instructions on how to get blue into hydrangea blooms.  I
would tend to trust this source the most.

Bonnie (SW OH - zone 5)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Andrea Hodges
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 6:50 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Hydrangia "Nikko Blue"

I want to hear more on this subject from everyone, because people down here
keep telling me about the rusty nail thing and I have a hard time believing
that a little rust can change the colors, particularly in our area where the
soil is nothing but acid. Thoughts? Chemical composition of rust anyone???

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jesse Bell" <silverhawk@flash.net>
To: "Gardenchat" <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:51 AM
Subject: [CHAT] Hydrangia "Nikko Blue"

>A lady I work with has family in Spain that she visits yearly. She
> commented on her aunt's hydrangeas...and asked how she kept them so
> vibrant and healthy (and her blues stayed blue!). She told Elena that
> she uses rusted nails. She sticks them in the ground all around her
> hydrangeas (it's the rust). So...Elena comes back to the states to find
> nails that will rust (not easy anymore, they are all treated so they
> WON'T rust). But her Nikko Blue stays blue now. Just thought I would
> pass that on to all you hydrangea lovers.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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