Are you a fan of hydrangeas? Would you like to grow a different variety?
If so, you should consider adding the oakleaf hydrangea to your yard or garden. I never recommend any gardener just jumping into growing a new plant, though.
It’s important to do your research first so you know what you’re getting into and to give the plant the greatest chance of survival.
If you need more information on growing the oakleaf hydrangea, you’re in the right place. Here’s the information you need to start your latest gardening journey:
Growing Conditions for the Oakleaf Hydrangea
I love hydrangeas. In fact, they were incorporated into my wedding because I enjoy them so much. The downside is that some varieties only bloom for a short period.
They’re gorgeous when in bloom, but they look bland when not. This is why it’s important to explore all varieties of a flower prior to planting.
In this case, you can enjoy hydrangeas longer by growing the oakleaf variety. This plant is called this because of its lobed foliage which resembles an oak tree.
The leaves of the plant even turn a vibrant red and orange color during the autumn months. Yet, the plant blooms throughout spring and summer.
When growing an oakleaf hydrangea, understand that it’s a forgiving plant. This shrub is both cold-hardy and drought-resistant.
Expect the oakleaf hydrangea to become as tall as ten feet and as wide as eight feet. This is a hardy option for planting zones five through nine.
The oakleaf hydrangea grows best in areas with full to partial sunlight. Its ideal lighting would be bright morning sunlight and afternoon shade.
Also, ensure you plant in well-draining soil as this shrub doesn’t thrive when it’s left in consistently damp growing conditions.
Now that you know where an oakleaf hydrangea grows best, it’s time to learn how to incorporate this plant into your landscape.
How to Plant the Oakleaf Hydrangea
When growing an oakleaf hydrangea, you may propagate it from either seed or cutting. If you have a mature plant, wait until the blooms begin to die back at the end of the season.
You may place a paper sack (or other breathable bag) over the blooms to catch the seeds as they fall.
It’s wise to actually cut the branch that the flower head is on and allow the bloom to fully dry in the bag separate from the plant. When you know the flower is dry, gently shake it and the seeds should release into the bag.
You have two options when planting hydrangea seeds. The first option is to immediately transplant them into an adequate growing location or you may save the seeds in a cool area until you’re ready to plant the following spring.
If you’d like to start your seeds indoors (whether in the fall or spring) fill a seed tray with well-draining soil.
From there, gently press the seeds into the soil and cover them lightly. Mist the soil with water and ensure it remains consistently damp but never oversaturated.
Place the tray in a warm growing location and allow two weeks for germination to occur. From there, care for the seeds by providing moisture and light.
When the plants have a strong root system, you may move them outdoors or transplant to a larger container and continue to grow the hydrangea indoors until all threat of frost has ended in the spring. Then move your plants to their permanent growing location.
The other method for growing hydrangeas is to propagate via cutting. You do this by removing a cutting that’s approximately one foot in length.
It’s ideal to have at least one node on each cutting. You don’t want to select a cutting from a mature plant with an established bloom.
When you have your cutting in hand, dip it into rooting hormone. Plant it in a container with well-draining soil and keep the soil evenly damp.
Cover the container with plastic to provide a greenhouse effect. Ensure the soil remains consistently damp in the coming months.
It should take approximately three months for the plant to develop a strong root system. When ready, transplant the hydrangea to a permanent growing location or larger container.
You now know two ways of growing the oakleaf hydrangea. Consider your level of gardening skill and begin adding this plant to your growing location using the appropriate method.
Caring for the Oakleaf Hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangeas are low-maintenance plants. They require consistent watering sessions, mulch, and protection over the winter months.
When watering oakleaf hydrangeas, it’s important to practice the deep watering method. This means you’ll water the plants for longer periods of time, fewer days of the week.
The idea is to saturate the plant to its roots and the ground around and beneath it. As the days progress, and the plant needs more water, it’ll dig deeper into the soil to retrieve hydration.
In the process, this creates a deeper root system for the plant and should equate to a healthier plant overall.
The next step in caring for this plant is to apply mulch to the ground surrounding it. This should help retain moisture.
Next, in the lower planting zones (in this case, planting zone five), it’s best to apply burlap around the plant over the winter months. This provides a layer of insulation and should protect the plant from harm when the temperatures dip.
Finally, you will need to prune oakleaf hydrangeas. When new growth appears, pinch it back. This will encourage the plant to become bushier.
Also, you should prune the plant once per year to keep it shaped properly.
The last thing to note is that oakleaf hydrangeas don’t require fertilizer. If you supply these basic needs, oakleaf hydrangeas should do well under your care.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Might Impact the Oakleaf Hydrangea
Like many plants, the oakleaf hydrangea does face a few challenges in the yard or garden. The key is to know which pests and diseases are most common.
This way, you’ll know what to look for and how to quickly treat any issue which arises. The most common diseases this plant faces are fungal issues.
Oakleaf hydrangeas frequently fall prey to blight, root rot, and powdery mildew. These issues can be treated with a fungicide.
However, you can also deter them by ensuring you plant in areas with ample sunlight and well-draining soil.
This deters the ideal conditions in which fungal issues thrive. Fungal disease likes wet, cold areas. By planting in areas of warmth and proper drainage, you may be able to stop these diseases in their tracks.
It’s also important to prune your plant to ensure it doesn’t become too dense. This will encourage better airflow around it which also can discourage disease.
The most common pests this plant faces are mites and aphids. These problems can be treated with an insecticide or a hard spray with soapy water to dislodge the pests and their homes from your plants.
These are a few issues you could face when growing an oakleaf hydrangea. You also now know how to beat these problems should they arise.
Be alert and catch issues at the early stages to avoid damage from occurring to your plant.
Oakleaf hydrangeas are low-maintenance, beautiful plants that provide life, color, and texture to their growing locations for the majority of the year.
You now know how to care for and protect them. Take what you’ve learned, make an informed decision on whether this is the plant for your landscape, and begin creating the gorgeous yard or garden you’ve always hoped for.
Learn More About the Oakleaf Hydrangea
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