General gardening topics

Why are my hydrangea flowers green?

Last updated on September 16th, 2021

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Why are my Hydrangea Flowers Green?

Your hydrangea flowers maybe green for one or more of a number of reasons. It’s quite a complex natural process and one you can use to your advantage if you actually want green hydrangeas. Here’s what might be happening.

Does the soil content make hydrangeas green?

If you’ve been changing the pH of your hydrangea soil to change the flower colour to blue (acid) or pink (alkali), your first thought maybe that the soil pH is producing the green colour. This is not so. However, I have noticed refreshing the pH of your soil with aluminium to make it more acidic may bring back the flowers’ colour for a little while, but they will eventually revert back to green.

Hydrangea flowers naturally turning green

Are all new hydrangea blooms green?

Your green hydrangea flowers may be new blooms. What you see as green in these new flowers are not the actual flower petals. The leaf-life greenery is sepals that serve to protect the flower bud inside. Sepals are naturally green. As they age and are exposed to longer days of sunlight, their colour changes into the usual white, pink or blue. It’s not actually a colour change as such, but the new colour overpowers the green and becomes predominant.

Does the season affect the green colour?

Stunning Hydrangea with green flowers

Your green hydrangea flowers may be previously coloured blooms in the last stages of their life cycle. Long hours of sunlight generate enough energy in the hydrangea for it to produce the beautiful pink/blue/white colour in the flowers. As the days become shorter, and with them the amount of sunlight and energy, the green colour underneath may start to reappear as the top colour fades. You can tell if this is the case as the green colour is often tinged with pink, blue or lilac.

Does moisture level make the hydrangeas green?

If your soil is too dry, your hydrangea flowers don’t receive enough moisture to keep up the energy needed to maintain their colour and greenness may set it. Make sure to keep your soil well-watered, especially in times of high temperature or drought.

Also, stick to your fertilizing plan for your hydrangeas and use the best rich compost for them. Your overall goal is to give the plants an environment from which they can draw as much energy as possible to maintain their colour.

You can also learn what to feed hydrangeas in this guide here

Are some hydrangeas actually green?

You may have a variety of hydrangea whose natural colour is green. One such variety is called Limelight which I have included in my 10 low maintenance shrubs that require minimal care guide.

Hydrangea Paniculata Limelight
Hydrangea Paniculata Limelight

The flowers on this hydrangea start out a stunning lime green colour for much of the growing season and then fade to a creamy-white shade and then to pink as the growing season progresses through autumn.

How Tall and Wide do Hydrangeas Grow

This is an especially eye-catching plant as the flowers can grow up to 30cm long on a larger taller plants, usually around 6ft tall.

Hydrangea paniculata Limelight
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Little Lime is similar to Limelight but is much smaller and you can grow it in a pot, this makes it a great choice for smaller gardens if you’re looking for a smaller hydrangea variety.

Hydrangea Little Lime
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I also have a guide on growing hydrangeas in pots which you can check out here.

Some other hydrangeas have been bred to start out white, turn green for most of the growing season and then return to white at the end. It really is amazing what plant breeders have managed to achieve when it comes to hydrangeas and the different varities.

Want to know more about growing hydrangeas? Then check my guide here.

Who knows?

Gardening experts, including myself, readily admit that sometimes hydrangeas turn green for unknown reasons. It may be a combination of the growing environment and local weather conditions, or perhaps a particular variant within the strain of hydrangea.

They offer some hope in that your hydrangea plant should come into its rightful colour in a season or two. In the meantime, enjoy the unusual colour of blooms that nature’s delivered to your garden.


Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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