Hydrangea quercifolia – ‘Oakleaf’ Hydrangea
A widely grown species Hydrangea quercifolia or the ‘Oakleaf Hydrangea’ is an excellent alternative to some of the widely promoted species.
The foliage is reminiscent of Oak leaves, hence the name, and has great autumn color (see picture right). However it is the flowers that differ the most.
The large flower heads form a pyramidical or conical shape. Lots of interesting cultivars including the well known ‘Alice’ with its lovely flowers that open white before turning to pink. This is a fairly vigorous plant and easy to grow in light shade.
Some times put forward as ‘rare’ and ‘unusual’ H. quercifolia can actually be found in many older gardens if you care to look.
A fair bit of variety with H. quercifolia, some smaller growing cultivars including ‘Pee Wee’ and ‘Sikes Dwarf’ will stay at around 1m, ‘Sikes Dwarf’ being particularly suited to growing at the format of the border.
The larger growing ‘Snow Flake’ and ‘Snow Queen’ have been around a while and seem to flower endlessly over summer, in particular ‘Snow Flake’. Again the autumn color is a deep crimson red.
- Hydrangea Quercifolia Alice is a strong growing cultivar with large flower heads commencing white and naturally turning to pink. Flowering on old wood this cultivar requires little pruning.
- Hydrangea Quercifolia Pee Wee is a relatively low growing plant nicely rounded plant to around 1m (3ft) again white flowers that fade to a nice pink, good autumn foliage colour.
- Hydrangea Quercifolia Snowflake is much loved for the large double white flowers with a large cone shaped flowers with a pretty double row of petals. Very upright and will reach 2m+. Long flowering with blooms that start white, fade to green and then pink
- Hydrangea Quercifolia Sikes Dwarf is one of the best ‘dwarf’ types. Reaching a height of around 1m (3ft) masses of flowers that cover this nicely rounded bush, excellent for the garden border.
- If you are looking for something a little different try Hydrangea Quercifolia Little Honey, its a sport of Pee Wee with golden yellow foliage, this one requires shade
Care and Pruning
Pruning is fairly simple with Oak Leaf Hydrangea, just remove the spent flower heads and prune lightly to shape.
Best pruned after flowering although we like to remove any dead, damaged or old weak growth in winter or early spring.
In frost prone areas it is best to leave pruning until the worst of the frosts are over. A humus rich moist but well drained soil is best, light to deep shade, although in very heavy shade flowering may not be as prolific. Mulch well to maintain a cool root run. We use a little seaweed fertiliser during spring and some well rotted cow manure mixed in with the mulch.
Can you grow them in pots ? – Yes, the smaller cultivars are suited.
You may also like
- Hydrangea macrophylla
- Hydrangea paniculata
- Hydrangea petiolaris
- Hydrangea semanii
- Schizophragma hydrangoides
- Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Kirsten’
- Hydrangea macrophylla ‘AyeshPrunia’
- Pruning Hydrangeas
- Hydrangea plants for sale
- Plants for Shade
- Cottage Garden Plants
Hydrangea quercifolia – ‘Oakleaf’ Hydrangea are available for sale from these nurseries
'Justly famous for rare and unusual plants' Don Teese
34 Mt Pleasant Rd Monbulk VIC 3793
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.