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Native Plant of the Week: Hydrangea quercifolia

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Common Name: Oakleaf Hydrangea

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Bloom Time: June-July

Flowers: 6-8" cone-shaped clusters with combination of showy sterile and inconspicuous fertile flowers

Soil Condition: Moist-Average, Well Drained

Light: Partial Shade

Height: 4-5' tall by 5-6' wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Native Range: Southeastern United States

Hydrangea quercifolia is an outstanding four season shrub but not the easiest to find since there are so many cultivars available now. In the spring, the giant oakleaf-shaped foliage begins to emerge and in the summer the fragrant flowers appear at first white and fading to a lovely pink. Autumn brings a spectacular show of burgundy, purple and bronze foliage and dried flowers that persist into the winter with peeling rust-colored bark. The flowers are great for fresh cut arrangements for dried arrangements. Looks best when left to naturalize by suckering (vegetative formation of a new stem and root system from an adventitious bud of a stem or root).

Maintenance: Low Maintenance. Flowers on old wood so prune, if necessary, immediately after flowering. Winter damaged stems may be pruned out in early spring. To control the width, a sharp shovel may be used to removed suckers.

Benefits: Makes a great hedge or privacy screen. Once established it tolerates some drought. Can handle full sun as long as the soil stays moist.

Companion Plants:

Carex flaccosperma (Blue Sedge), Carex pensylvanica (Oak Sedge), Aquilegia canadensis (Wild Columbine), Asarum canadense (Wild Ginger), Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)



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