Height: 6-8’ Spread: 6-8’ Habit/Form: Rounded Zones: 4-9 Growth Rate: Slow
Oakleaf hydrangea can be planted in a range of exposures from partial/ filtered shade to full sun. Although it is the most tolerant of all hydrangeas to drought conditions, it does best in moist, organically rich, well drained soils. Oakleaf hydrangea is a low maintenance shrub that only requires mulching to help retain soil moisture and a selective pruning immediately after it flowers. It is important to only prune after it has bloomed because it flowers on “old wood,” meaning the flower buds develop the previous season. There are no serious insect or disease problems with this shrub.
A favorite of our officer manager, Jessie Moyer, this ornamental shrub is beautiful all year whether used as a specimen or in mass plantings. The uniquely oak leaf shaped foliage (hence the common name) is thick and coarsely textured, lending a spectacular contrast in the garden to other plants. In May the white lacy cone shaped flower clusters float above the foliage giving this plant a very romantic feel. As the season progresses, the flowers will fade from a clean white to a dark pink finally turning brown in the winter. They are an added interest to the winter landscape as the snow perches on the spent flowers and exfoliated branches. They can also be brought indoors and used in dried floral arrangements. For some, the size may be unfit for their garden. However, there are “dwarf” varieties such as, Pee Wee that reach 3’ tall x 4’ wide at maturity.
Whether used as a backdrop border planting, hedge, or in the woodland garden this ornamental shrubs is a wonderful addition to any garden.