Okay, you had to know this was coming.
This shrub is one of my favorites!
There is something lovely to look at all 4 seasons of the year.
Scientific Name: Hydrangea quercifolia
Common Name: oakleaf hydrangea
June 29, 2016
Cold Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9
Spread: 4-6' tall and wide. Some dwarf varieties stay smaller.
Full sun to part shade.
Native to the southeastern United States.
No significant insect or disease problems.
July 28, 2016
All hydrangeas like water (hence the "hydra" part of their name), but oakleaf hydrangeas can take drier conditions than most. They do need well-draining soil, though.
The one pictured here is planted under an overhang of the house.
It doesn't get watered unless I do it, usually, and it is thriving under there!
(In July & August, I probably watered it every week to 10 days, along with everything else out front.)
August 14, 2016
It blooms in June at my house, then the large conical blossoms stay on and turn pink as they age.
You can see the progression with these photos.
They start out creamy white, then slowly the pink blush takes over and gets darker.
Someday I want to get the cultivar 'Ruby Slippers,' which turn a deep crimson-pink.
Note: This is not the type that turns blue or pink depending on the acidity of the soil.
Then, on top of all that, it has gorgeous fall color!
If you plant it where it can get some morning sun, the colors will be even more brilliant.
By the way, oakleaf hydrangeas can also take more sun than other hydrangeas.
I don't have any pictures of this, but established shrubs have peeling bark that adds interest even in the winter, when nothing else is going on. I'm telling you--this shrub has it going on!
They make great cut flowers, also, the large blooms adding drama to an arrangement.
If I could only add 1 shrub to my yard, this would be a serious contender.