Hydrangea quercifolia / Oakleaf Hydrangea

From 1773 to 1779 William Bartram, native son naturalist, artist and nature writer, traveled the south-eastern United States. Among his many botanical discoveries was Hydrangea quercifolia found in south central Georgia. And what a great find it was!

The Oakleaf hydrangea is valued for large lobed foliage of dark green and extravagant fragrant white blooms. Flowers age pink to dark rose and the fall foliage can be deep burgundy red.

Size varies from 4' 5' to 10' 12'. All increase in size by suckering from the base and are wider than tall when mature. Make your selections with mature size in mind to give these magnificent plants their due.

Mid-late May to mid-June (in metro Atlanta area).

Give Oakleaf hydrangeas the space they need. Except for shaping, creating structure and deadheading, pruning is not necessary. In the Atlanta area when the leaves begin to show, usually in late March, remove dead wood and spent flowers. (This is also when to fertilize.) Prune if necessary after blooming. In our area it is possible to prune as late as mid-August and still have bloom the following year.

These are tough long lived garden companions. It is important to know that more
H. quercifolia succumb to death by drowning than from lack of water. They require moist soils AND excellent drainage, which means that they want water but not to sit in wet soil. Plant high. When you have finished planting a half to one inch of the original potting soil should show above the existing soil level. Take care not to pile dirt or mulch around the base of the plant, but do mulch.

Oakleaf hydrangeas can be planted in full sun (with additional irrigation) or in shade and still bloom reliably. Part shade is best in the south. More bloom and brilliant fall colors are produced with more sun than shade.

Selections with heavy heads of bloom like 'Harmony and 'Snowflake' benefit from several hours of sun to help the wood ripen (become more woody) making the plant better able to hold the flowers up.

Zones 5 9.
Check the National Arboretum USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to clarify which zone you garden in.

This fall we have a fine crop of 8 different selections of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia).
Gene Griffith and Elizabeth Dean
Wilkerson Mill Gardens
9595 Wilkerson Mill Rd.
Palmetto, Ga 30268
(770)463-9717 fax
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