Plant of the Month: October 2014
by Jenny Wegley
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’
AT A GLANCE
Latin name: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’
Common name: Oakleaf hydrangea
Flowers: Panicles of double cream to white flowers
Mature size: 4-6’ tall by 4-6’ wide
Hardiness: Deciduous shrub
Soil: Well drained to moist
Exposure: Part sun to shade
Water usage: Medium
Sources: Local nurseries or mail order
Oh, you know that fall is coming when night temperatures start to decline and the sun sets earlier in the evening. Fall is a gardener’s paradise; at least it is my favorite time of year to garden. It is the ideal time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. The roots can become established before winter, giving you a great show in the spring.
When I started to make my fall planting list, one of the first items I wrote down was Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’. This is a new variety on the market that has shown great promise in the Dallas Arboretum Trials Program. Also known as oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia is perfect for any soil type throughout Texas. These beauties do not need acidic soils like H. paniculata and H. macrophylla, which need acidic soils for peak performance.
‘Snowflake,’ like all other oakleaf hydrangeas, blooms in mid- to late spring, but it continues to flower longer than the single types. It’s a fast-growing shrub that can reach 4 to 6 feet in height in a matter of a few years. The one thing that makes ‘Snowflake’ a standout is its large panicles of double cream to white flowers. ‘Snowflake’ can take part sun, but it needs to be kept away from direct light for the majority of the day.
Burgundy and red fall colors are just another reason to plant ‘Snowflake’. In a very mild winter ‘Snowflake’ can be semi-evergreen, but count on a deciduous shrub in the winter months. During the summer months ‘Snowflake’ is in full bloom. ‘Snowflake’ is a moderate water user.
Take advantage of the fall and get your trees and shrubs in the ground. If you are looking for a great plant that easily adapts to our Texas soils and climate, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ is ideal. Find it at your favorite local nursery or online.
Have fun and garden strong! Please Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.