oakleaf hydrangea produces blooms that may reach
12 inches in length.
is nothing quite like finding a large stand of native
oakleaf hydrangeas along a rocky-river shoreline, or
moist ravine in the south. Though you may not have such
a picturesque setting, those same monolithic-sized
panicles of glistening white blossoms can show out in
your shady landscape too.
oakleaf hydrangea is native from the Gulf Coast as far
north as the Tennessee/Kentucky border, but donít let
that throw you. It is recommended for zones 5-9, meaning
that even parts of Michigan and Maine can relish its
oakleaf hydrangea has the ability to make a dramatic
statement in the garden with its huge deeply-lobed
palmate leaves. This coarse texture allows it to fit
nicely with ferns, elephant ears and even bananas for a
this large shrub screams woodland border, where it can
be combined with ferns, hostas, and colorful French or
mophead type hydrangeas. In the South they should be
combined with Satsuki azaleas for a terrific spring
season extender. If you arenít familiar with Satsuki,
this means 5th month, which is their season of bloom.
the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden we have several.
Some are combined with a shorter drift of spreading yew
for a terrific contrast in texture. In another area they
are understory to a tall bald cypress draped in Spanish
moss which is a portrait of the Deep South.
grow yours select a site in partial shade. Keep in mind
that these are large shrubs reaching 6 to 8 feet in
height with an equal spread. Our oldest ones are
approaching 10 feet.
a bed for your hydrangeas and companion plants by
incorporating 3 to 4 inches of organic matter and 2
pounds of a 5-10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet of
planting area, tilling deeply. Dig the planting hole two
to three times as wide as the rootball but no deeper.
The wide hole allows for the quickest root-expansion and
acclimation into your garden.
oakleaf hydrangea blooms on old wood so if you want to
do some pruning, do so immediately after bloom. There is
not typically any regimental pruning needed just a
little shaping. Extra cold winters however can
cause damage. Let the growth resume in the spring and
thus show you the damaged branches to remove.
other attribute that is often overlooked is the fall
burgundy color in the large oak-shaped leaves. This
color will often persist late into winter. The Virginia
willow or sweetspire also makes a nice companion with
fragrant white blooms and a similar fall color. The
variance in flower and leaf texture makes for a
wonderful woodland mix.
are several choice varieties at many garden centers.
Snow Queen may be the most famous for its upright habit
and large blooms that hold up after rain. The U.S.
National Arboretum released Ruby Slippers, which is
somewhat shorter and more compact. The flowers start off
white, age to pink and finish to a deep rose. The fall
leaf color is superior. Even more compact is the
Arboretumís release Munchkin which tops out at 4 Ĺ
feet with flowers that mature to a medium pink.
of the selection at your local garden center youíll be
getting one of the finest shrubs available for the
woodland landscape. Get some this weekend and then
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