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RE: Hydrangia "Nikko Blue"

Chris, could that be why people use the rusty nails?  If they have soil that
is borderline alkaline, could the iron from the rusty nails enable the plant
to take up that micronutrient?  Just wondering.

Bonnie (SW OH - zone 5) 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Christopher P. Lindsey
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 11:32 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Hydrangia "Nikko Blue"

> "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.

And personally, I would only use sulfur unless you need immediate
acidification.  Aluminum sulfate can harm the roots of plants because it
hydrolyzes with water to form sulfuric acid.  Needless to say, you have to
be careful about breathing in the dust when using it -- sulfuric acid in the
lungs isn't a good thing.  :)

The only time it would be appropriate (in my opinion) is if your plant is
chlorotic; alkaline soils prevent the uptake of micronutrients like iron
that correct chlorosis, so you wouldn't have time to wait for sulfur to
break down in the soil.  


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