Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Native Plant of the Month: Oakleaf Hydrangea

     The Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, is a lovely native, semi-deciduous shrub. With the white spike flower (called a panicle), exfoliating bark, and those huge dark green leaves it’s an asset to any shady garden. With a mature height of 5-8 feet and a similar spread it is an ideal backdrop for shady perennials or for groupings and mass plantings. The leaves turn yellow to purple in the fall and the bloom clusters remain, though they turn brown, for a very interesting fall color display.

     The size and color of the flower vary depending on the cultivar, from bright white to creamy white to pink! The size of the shrub also varies, from ‘PeeWee’ that stays under 3’ to the 8’ species.
     Oakleaf hydrangeas like part sun to shade and prefer moist, sell-drained soil with a pH of 5.0-6.5. They have virtually no pest or disease problems and are a steady performer in the garden.

Jessica Watters, GCLP           Horticulture Technician, Chattahoochee Technical College

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