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Thursday - November 18, 2010

From: Attica, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Oakleaf hydrangea in Indiana
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I was given a start of an oak leaf hydrangea by a generous friend from her garden. I have been searching for "what to expect" about this plant. I planted it last year and it grew..this year..but did not bloom. What can I expect from this plant as far as growth, when to expect blooms, what should I be doing? Thank you very much!!!

ANSWER:

Your friend is generous indeed! 

In general you can expect to be delighted by your new aquisition, but to be more precise, what to expect kind of depends on what you are starting with.

The description of Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea) on our Native Plant Database describes it as:

A mound-shaped shrub, 3-12 ft. tall. Multiple stems are sparingly branched with picturesque canes. Older stems are exfoliating to reveal a rich, brown inner bark. The showy inflorescence of greenish flowers, turns white then purplish and persists on the bush until mid-winter. The foliage, shaped something like that of red oak, becomes colorful in fall.

You don't mention how large your "start" is or if it is single or multi-stemmed.  If it is planted in the right conditions (and you say it did grow this year), it will probably flower once it reaches about 3 feet in size.  The tone of colour it achieves in the fall will depend on how much sun it receives and whether or not it is the "straight" species or a cultivated variety.  Generally, the sunnier the conditions the deeper and more intense the red/bronze fall colour.

You can see by the images below that there is a fair amount of variety in the size and shape of both the leaves and flowers.  Your plant will resemble its parent, as it is a clone, but could seem different depending on the conditions in which it is planted.

 

 

 

 

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