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Oakleaf Hydrangea, a southeastern beauty

Last week, I wrote about deer-inflicted damage to many of our shrubs and perennials while we were away from home for several weeks in 2019. Two of the affected plants were oakleaf hydrangeas, one of which was eaten almost to the ground. It has survived, but it will take several years to recover any height. The second oakleaf hydrangea is growing well this year, and is almost 6 feet tall.

Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is a southeastern United States native, growing wild in moist woods, on bluffs, and along stream banks from North Carolina to Florida to Louisiana. It will grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9, but immature plants will need winter protection of mulch or burlap in colder climates.

Oakleaf hydrangea is a deciduous, rounded, suckering shrub. It reaches a mature height of 6 to 8 feet with a spread of similar size. A low-maintenance plant, oakleaf hydrangea grows easily in organically rich, well-drained soil with medium moisture. It requires moist soil, and summe...

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