July Plant of the Month: Oakleaf Hydrangea
Oakleaf Hydrangeas are a wonderful addition to any garden or landscape in Georgia's climate. The scientific name for an Oakleaf Hydrangea is Hydrangea Quercifolia. they are one of the few hydrangeas native to the United States.
The Oakleaf Hydrangea is white blooming, dramatic, and thrives through all 4 seasons. They bloom best in areas where summers are somewhat hot. They cannot tolerate "wet feet". If there is not excellent drainage when planted, the Oakleaf Hydrangea can easily get root rot from standing in soggy soil. Oakleaf Hydrangeas have been known to thrive in much dryer locations unlike some of it's cousins. They require very little attention to maintain.
Snowflake being the most common, there are a few different varieties of the Oakleaf Hydrangea. the "Snowflake" Oakleaf Hydrangea's blossoms appear to be double. It gets the snowflake name from the shape of it's beautiful large leaves. Because the bloom is double, this makes the "Snowflake" Oakleaf Hydrangea's bloom season much longer than that of single varieties. Harmony Oakleaf Hydrangeas have double, white blooms. Their large heads are so full and heavy that they almost always hang down, often dragging the ground. They like partial shade and good soil. Harmony Oakleaf Hydrangeas need some sun in the morning and the soil perfectly drained. The "Snow Queen" and "Alice" Oakleaf Hydrangea varieties are both very similar. They have single blooms and are best for smaller gardens.
The blooms of most Oakleaf Hydrangeas gradually take on a pink tint as they age. If planted in a sunny are with a little shade during the afternoon hours. the leaves of the Oakleaf Hydrangeas will turn colors of vibrant red, orange, yellow, and burgundy.
Are you wondering if your climate/area is suitable for a thriving Oakleaf Hydrangea? Although it is difficult to give specific zones for growing each different type of Hydrangea, there are general specifications for the proper climate to grow an Oakleaf Hydrangea. They make a dramatic show in the spring and will grow in light shade or mostly sun. In order to have an Oakleaf Hydrangea bloom well, it must be in a climate that is very sunny and has relatively hot summers.
Finally, when it comes time to plant your Oakleaf Hydrangea, you will receive the best outcome if done in the fall. This will give it a chance to take root and your hydrangea will have a better chance of surviving the spring and summer months when insects are the most prominent.