I have planted oakleaf hydrangea mainly to provide a tall hedge. The flowers are beautiful, but they bend down the bark such that it loses height. Can they be staked?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Bob: Oakleaf hydrangea are wonderful specimens in the garden and even more stunning when planted in mass as you have done to provide a hedge. They are prolific bloomers throughout the summer months, have brilliant fall color, and provide winter interest with their exfoliating bark. These hydrangeas can reach 6-8 feet tall and 6 feet wide at maturity. The growth habit of hydrangea quercifolia cultivars is a bit more stiff and upright as opposed to the species itself. Do you know what you have planted? They can grow in either the sun or the shade, although it seems like they are a bit more dense when grown in a shadier location. I do not think staking the flowers is the ideal solution. This could be very time-consuming and may not provide the look you want. How long have they been in the ground? If they are still young plantings, keep in mind that as these native shrubs age the stems will become stronger and able to support the large flowers.