Why You Shouldn’t Use Baking Soda for Hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are prominent for their ability to change color. To continue to have a healthy plant and bright blooms, you must take proper care along with adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients.

The Internet is filled with anecdotal claims that sprinkling baking soda around hydrangeas can increase blooming, change color, and thwart fungal diseases. Unfortunately, things aren’t as easy as they seem.

Benefits of baking soda for hydrangeas aren’t proved yet.

If you’re looking to change the hydrangea color, instead of working on soil pH I recommend you to get the suitable colored plant.

In case you’re dreaming of experimenting on hydrangeas in your backyard, you must know that baking soda can’t help you to change hydrangea colors.

Hydrangea plants change their color from pink to blue depending on the amount of aluminum they absorb from the soil, which depends on the soil pH.

However, if you want to give it a try and see how baking soda impacts hydrangeas, you can try it.

But before that, let’s first know:

Should You Use Baking Soda for Hydrangeas?

Short Answer:

If you’re looking for a single home available remedy that can solve all hydrangea plant problems, then baking soda is not one such ingredient.

Though sodium bicarbonate, chemical name of baking soda, as some nutrients that can benefit plants, it lacks key nutrients that can bring drastic change to your ornamental plant.

Now, coming to color change in hydrangeas, adding baking soda can not directly change color of your blossoms. It is the amount of aluminum absorbed by the hydrangea that contribute in color change.

Is Baking Soda Good for Hydrangeas?

hydrangea in clay soil

Amidst the various tips and tricks circulating in gardening communities, one popular recommendation is using baking soda to enhance hydrangea health and bloom.

However, the effectiveness of baking soda for hydrangeas is largely anecdotal and lacks scientific validation.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is often touted as a miracle solution for various gardening problems, including those affecting hydrangeas.

While it does have some antifungal properties, there is no substantial scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in improving hydrangea health or changing their color.

Gardeners should be cautious about relying on baking soda for these purposes without further proof.

Understanding Hydrangea Color Change

The color of hydrangea flowers is influenced by the soil’s pH level and its aluminum content. Acidic soils (with a low pH) make aluminum available to the plant, resulting in blue flowers.

In contrast, alkaline soils (with a high pH) limit aluminum availability, producing pink flowers.

The idea behind using baking soda, which is alkaline, is that it can raise the soil’s pH, potentially altering the flower color from blue to pink.

However, this approach is simplistic and overlooks the complexities of soil chemistry and plant biology.

Baking Soda and Its Alleged Benefits

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is often touted as a versatile household remedy for various gardening issues. Proponents claim that it can:

Enhance Blooming

It is suggested that baking soda can boost flower production. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting this claim for hydrangeas or any other plants.

Change Flower Color

As mentioned, baking soda can potentially alter the soil pH. While it may influence the color of hydrangea blooms by making the soil more alkaline, this is not a guaranteed or precise method.

Soil pH is influenced by many factors, and simply adding baking soda may not produce the desired effect.

Fungal Disease Prevention

Baking soda has mild antifungal properties, which might help in managing fungal infections. This is one area where baking soda has some potential benefits. However, it should not be seen as a cure-all, and its effectiveness can vary.

    Scientific Perspective

    From a scientific standpoint, the benefits of baking soda for hydrangeas are not well-documented. While it has some antifungal properties, its role in plant health and bloom enhancement is overstated.

    Gardening experts and horticulturists generally recommend more reliable methods for maintaining hydrangea health and achieving desired bloom colors:

    1. Proper Soil Management: Adjusting soil pH with more precise methods, such as using sulfur to acidify soil or lime to alkalize it, is more effective. These amendments are widely recognized and used in horticulture with predictable results.
    2. Fertilization: Providing hydrangeas with balanced nutrients through appropriate fertilizers ensures they receive the necessary elements for growth and bloom. Fertilizers specifically formulated for acid-loving plants can help maintain the right soil conditions for blue flowers.
    3. Watering Practices: Consistent and adequate watering is crucial for hydrangea health. Overwatering or underwatering can stress the plant, affecting its overall health and bloom production.

    Instead, of relying on proper soil management, fertilization, and watering practices is a more effective approach to achieving healthy and vibrant hydrangeas.

    Experimenting with baking soda can be an interesting exercise, but it should not replace well-established horticultural practices.

    Ultimately, the best care for your hydrangeas involves understanding their specific needs and providing a balanced growing environment.

    Does baking soda turn hydrangeas blue?

    No, baking soda does not turn hydrangeas blue. The color change in hydrangeas from pink to blue (or vice versa) is primarily influenced by the soil pH and the presence of aluminum.

    Acidic soil (low pH) allows hydrangeas to absorb aluminum, which turns the flowers blue.

    Baking soda, being a mild alkaline substance, can actually raise the soil pH, making it less acidic and potentially preventing the blue coloration.

    are eggshells good for hydrangeas

    Can Baking Soda Be Used to Revive Hydrangeas?

    There is no concrete evidence that baking soda can revive struggling hydrangeas.

    Hydrangeas that are not thriving typically require more specific interventions such as adjustments in watering, nutrient supplementation, and soil conditioning.

    Baking soda might provide some temporary relief from fungal diseases due to its antifungal properties, but it is not a comprehensive solution for reviving a sick hydrangea plant.

    Can Baking Soda Be Used as Fertilizer?

    Baking soda is not a fertilizer and does not provide essential nutrients that hydrangeas need to grow and bloom.

    Fertilizers supply plants with nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are crucial for their development.

    Baking soda does not contain these nutrients and therefore cannot be used as a substitute for proper fertilization.

    How to Use Baking Soda for Hydrangeas?

    If you still want to experiment with baking soda on your hydrangeas, here is a simple method you can try:

    1. Mixing Solution: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of water.
    2. Application: Water the base of the hydrangea plant with this solution once a month. Avoid spraying the solution directly on the leaves and flowers to prevent potential damage.
    3. Monitoring: Keep a close eye on your plant for any signs of stress or improvement. Remember, results may vary, and there is no guarantee of success.


    While baking soda is a popular home remedy in the gardening community, its benefits for hydrangeas are not scientifically proven.

    If you’re interested in changing the color of your hydrangeas or improving their health, focus on proper soil pH management, adequate watering, and the use of appropriate fertilizers.

    Experimenting with baking soda may be safe, but it should not replace tried-and-true gardening practices backed by research.

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