Go Native with Oakleaf Hydrangeas
By: Julie Day
During midsummer, the showy pink and blue pom-poms of bigleaf (or mophead) hydrangeas try to overshadow their equally beautiful and even more versatile cousin, the oakleaf hydrangea. Native to the southeastern U.S., oakleaf hydrangeas offer year-round beauty with their seasons of blooms, foliage, and peeling bark.
Not only are oakleaf hydrangea gorgeous, they’re low-maintenance and easy to grow. Here’s what you need to know about growing native oakleaf hydrangeas in your yard or garden.
About Oakleaf Hydrangeas
Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are very similar in care and cultivation to other hydrangeas, but they offer several distinct advantages over their mopheaded cousins, including:
- Insect and Disease Resistant: Oakleaf hydrangeas are nearly problem free from disease and pests.
Types of Oakleaf Hydrangeas
Oakleaf hydrangeas come in two forms – single blossom and double blossom. Single blossom varieties include ‘Snow Queen,’ ‘Alice,’ and the dwarf-sized ‘PeeWee.’ Double blossom varieties such as ‘Snowflake’ have multiple florets and boast the longest bloom season.
All oakleaf hydrangeas are white, but the blooms often turn subtle shades of pink or brown as they age.
Oakleaf Hydrangea Growing Tips
For the most part, you can have success with oakleaf hydrangeas by following the growing tips outlined in our article on How to Grow Hydrangeas. However, here are few extra secrets to success with oakleafs:
- Beware of Root Rot: All hydrangeas need well draining soil, but the oakleaf needs extra good drainage to prevent root rot. Keep them watered, but don’t let them get soggy.