Hydrangeas are one of those plants that, when kept in good condition, become the undisputed center of any garden, balcony or terrace. However, hydrangeas have a not entirely justified reputation for being difficult to grow. It’s really just that they are acidophilic plants and as such, they need acidic pH soils to grow properly.
In this sense, the doubt circulates about whether vinegar is good for hydrangeas or not. If you want to learn what vinegar is for hydrangeas, join us in this article.
Is vinegar good for hydrangeas?
If you squirt vinegar directly on your hydrangeas, you are most likely damaging the plant, like vinegar, in its natural state, has such an acidifying effect that it usually acts as a herbicide.
However, this does not mean that vinegar should not be used for plants. In fact, the benefits of vinegar for hydrangeas are multiple. You just have to know how to use it. To begin with, the main and best known of its beneficial properties is its ability to acidify the pH of the soil.
Hydrangeas, as acidophilic plants that they are, need a pH of around 5.5 or lower in their soil, so if your hydrangeas show signs of chlorosis from too alkaline pH in their soil, which prevents them from absorbing nutrients properly, A supply of well-used vinegar will help them recover.
When to use vinegar for hydrangeas?
If your hydrangea seems weak and its leaves retain a green tone, but the rest turn yellow, it is most likely chlorosis due to lack of iron. This happens when the pH is not low enough for the plant, which makes it difficult for it to absorb the iron present in the soil. It is a very serious problem, which seriously affects the plant and can end up killing it. The most common reason for this is to irrigate areas with hard water, that is, with a high lime content, with running water.
The accumulation of lime in the soil ends up altering its pH, making it alkaline, and the plant suffers the consequences. The solution with plants that do not tolerate this type of pH is none other than watering with rainwater, letting the running water rest for a day before watering with it so that the lime settles at the bottom, or acidifying the soil of some form, for example with vinegar.
Another marker that your hydrangea needs a more acidic soil is when, if you purchased your hydrangea from a variety with blue flowers, they start to turn pink or white. Each hydrangea has a natural flower color depending on its variety, but an inappropriate pH can change it. This is an unfortunately common practice among hobbyists who do not know that, by forcing the plant to grow in an environment that is not suitable for it, they are abusing it without knowing it. Thus, if your hydrangea had blue flowers and over time they change color, it is that it needs you to lower the pH of its soil.
Another great option is to use specific hydrangea compost, which contains many of the nutrients you need and also helps in the task of acidifying the soil.
How to use vinegar for hydrangeas?
To incorporate the vinegar into the hydrangeas without damaging them, it is best to mix it directly with the irrigation water. You have to be very careful with the concentration since, as we have said, a very high concentration acts as a herbicide: add between 1 and 4 tablespoons of vinegar, either white, apple or wine, for every 5 liters of water to irrigate. Stir the mixture well and then use a sprayer to water the base of the plant. How do you know how much vinegar to use specifically? It will depend on how much you need to lower the soil pH.
To measure this, the simplest thing is to buy pH measuring strips, which are cheap and easy to buy and will allow you to control the acidity setting of the soil. Remember that the goal for healthy hydrangeas is to keep it around 5.5.
You can also use vinegar as a homemade fungicide for plants. In this case, it is necessary to prepare a mixture with a higher concentration: one tablespoon of vinegar for each liter of water. With this mixture, it is sprayed on the affected plants twice a week and after each rain, since when the heat arrives and the humidity rises, the fungi are in their ideal environment to reproduce. Once you have finished the treatment and eliminated the fungi, do not continue spraying vinegar on them. This will also work as a repellent for many pests.