Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Foliage Interest

A few years back I wrote about propagating Oak Leaf Hydrangea from seed with success. Since then I have even taken cuttings of some of my seedlings. Many of the seedlings have finished growing out of three gallon containers and are now in many of my customers landscape.

Decidous flowering shrubs have a hard acceptance. Many are beautiful when they bloom in the spring or summer for a few weeks but it takes something special for one of them to reach "Rock Star" status in the plant lovers world. Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia is one that has reached that status for some and should be for more folks. Oak Leaf Hydrangea comes as close as a year interest plant as any deciduous shrub. Besides the large elongated white blooms in late spring and early summer fall is a season that the shrub shines as much if not more. The leathery foliage turns shades of garnet with sometimes a hint of scarlet or orange mixed in. With its thick leaves the color and leaves often last on the shrub until January. A southeastern native, Oak Leaf Hydrangea is hardy throughout the South and cold hardy throughout much of the Midwest and the Northeast. Here in North Carolina it can tolerate full sun through most of the day but is better with a half day of sun and shade. Which time of day it receives either exposure does not seem to matter. They can also be happy in almost full shade. If you have never given Oak Leaf Hydrangea a try let me convince you more.

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