Tag Archives: hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia – Oakleaf hydrangea

27 Aug

 By Stacie Palmer – Planscaper at Dennis’ 7 Dees

Snow Queen

Let us introduce you to an autumn superstar: oakleaf hydrangea. You may be under the assumption that all hydrangeas are alike; myth debunked!

Native to the North American southeast, oakleaf hydrangea thrives in partial sun and rich, porous soil that has good drainage. Although oakleaf hydrangea is more tolerant of drier soil than mophead and lacecap hydrangeas, it is a plant that prefers regular water—definitely while establishing in the garden. Note: it does not tolerate ‘wet feet,’ so ensure that you’ve properly amended soil for optimal drainage. Fast growing, this rounded deciduous shrub introduces delectable texture, color, and presence.

From its deeply-lobed, large deep green leaves, to its elongated creamy-white flower panicles, gorgeous fall color, and cinnamon-color bark, this extraordinary shrub offers literally 12 months of interest. Better yet, there’s a variety for both large and small gardens!

fall color!

Spring arrives and we revel in oakleaf hydrangea’s amply-sized foliage. Late summer the flowers arrive! As summer progresses, the flower panicles transition from white to rosy/pinkish-mauve, and persist on the shrub well into fall–if you can resist cutting them for a bouquet! Summer winds down, the nights become cool, and plants prepare for slumber. It is at this time the foliage magically transforms into a feast for the eyes, rich with color. Green leaves evolve into an absolutely stunning crimson with purple and/or bronze tones. Enjoy the show, for winter is not far behind. Once oakleaf hydrangea drops its leaves, exfoliating cinnamon-colored bark is revealed. The plant’s unique texture holds us over until spring arrives and the cycle begins anew.

Pee Wee fall color

Common varieties of Hydrangea quercifolia are ‘Snow Queen,’ which produces stacks of single florets, and grows to an average of 4’-6’ tall and wide. Looking for something smaller? ‘Pee Wee’ matures at a mere 3’-4’ tall and wide and has all the same unique traits as its larger cousin. Either variety makes a wonderful specimen/focal point, massed grouping, or foundation plant within a bed.

Pee Wee

Should you need to prune your oakleaf hydrangea, do so after it has flowered to avoid cutting off next year’s flower buds. Pruning of this plant is not required, yet some people do so to create what is generally considered a ‘tidier’ look. Keep in mind that flowers can persist on the plant well into early winter, adding to its seasonal interest. Flowers left on the plant over the winter can easily be snapped off the branches in early spring (done just below the origin of the flower, taking caution to not disturb the new growth about to happen). Carefully remove dead branches at any time.

Looking to bring the beauty indoors? Just as other species of hydrangeas, the flowers of the oakleaf make a wonderful addition to a fresh and/or dried arrangement.


Something Old, Something New, Something Easy, Something Blue

5 Jun

by Linda Kay Harrison

“I love it because it reminds me of my grandmother’s yard when I was little.”

I hear that a lot about hydrangeas. There is something nostalgic and even comforting about a hydrangea in bloom, their big soft mop-heads bobbing gracefully in the breeze.

Hydrangeas have been a part of our yards and gardens since the early 1800’s.  No wonder they are so loved and well known.  And while some of those original varieties like ‘Pee Gee’, are still available today, there are many new cultivars that bloom longer, stronger, and more beautiful than ever.

‘Invincibelle’ Hydrangea

‘Incredi-ball’ Hydrangea

Some of the newer hydrangeas include the ‘Endless Summer’,  ‘Incredi-Ball’, ‘Invincibelle’, and ‘Pistachio’, just to name a few.  The blooms on these newer varieties can begin in May and continue through September.  Some varieties can produce blooms up to 10” across.  Others are so colorful they look like they’ve been finger painted by a kindergarten class.

Hydrangea ‘Forever Pink’

Hydrangeas come in a wide variety of sizes from about 3 feet up to 8 feet tall. With some afternoon shade, and good acidic soil, they require very little effort to keep looking lovely year to year.  Hydrangeas do benefit from a good ‘hair cut’ each year.  Since most hydrangeas bloom on old wood, it’s best to prune them right after blooming.

‘Pistachio’ Hydrangea

‘Nikko Blue’ Hydrangea

Colors vary greatly too, from white, blue, red, purple, green and multi.  In some cases, the color can even be controlled by the grower to “change” from pink to blue by changing the acidity of the soil.  Blue seems to be the most popular color for hydrangeas, and one of the most amazing blue hydrangeas is Nikko Blue.  It starts out a pale blue and becomes brighter with maturity.  Add a little sulfur to make the soil a bit more acidic, and the Nikko Blue is almost neon blue.

Stop by and let us help you find the right hydrangea for your own little piece of nostalgia.  At Dennis 7 Dees, we really do have “Something Old, Something New, Something Easy, Something Blue.”

Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’

‘Limelight’ Hydrangea

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