Sikes Dwarf Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf Hydrangea Shrub
Brilliant scarlet to burgundy fall foliage!
The flowers are dome-like and very profuse right down to the ground on this very heavy-budded shrub. The bottom florets open first, providing a skirt of pure white for the upper florets. A fully-blooming shrub displays all shades of green, white, and pink -- a magnificent midsummer sight!
The foliage that gives this Hydrangea its name is large and many-lobed, attractive during spring and summer but really showstopping in fall, when it turns all shades of red from scarlet to burgundy. It remains on the shrub for several weeks before dropping, putting on a show to rival the Japanese Maples in your garden.
'Sikes Dwarf' is also suitable for containers. Just 3 feet high and about 4 feet wide, it fills large tubs, flowerpots, and urns beautifully, bringing color and texture onto porch and patio. Its bushy, dense habit keeps it looking full and fresh from spring through fall, unlike older varieties which can become a bit rangy. Bred by Sarah Sikes of Alabama, 'Sikes Dwarf' is a standout! Zones 5-9.
|Zone||5 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Mid Summer - Late Summer|
|Plant Height||3 ft - 4 ft|
|Plant Width||3 ft - 4 ft|
|Bloom Size||8 in - 12 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Bloom First Year, Easy Care Plants, Fall Color, Free Bloomer|
|Bloom Color||Light Green, Light Pink, White|
|Foliage Color||Burgundy, Dark Green, Red|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Part Shade|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil Tolerance||Clay, Normal, loamy|
|Uses||Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Foliage Interest, Hedge|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
How to Adjust Hydrangea ColorHydrangeas may produce pink, blue, or lavender blooms, depending on where it’s planted and how it’s fed. The presence of aluminum in the plant ultimately determines the color, and pH affects the uptake of aluminum. Alkaline soils, pH of 6.0 or more, are more likely to produce pink blooms, and more acidic soils, pH 4.5 to 5.5, produce blue flowers.
Pink hydrangeas can be turned blue by applying aluminum sulfate to lower the pH and add aluminum to the soil. Applying lime to raise the pH level will help blue hydrangeas turn pink. If your soil naturally produces very blue or very pink hydrangea flowers, you may need to grow your hydrangeas in containers or raised beds to achieve the desired color. If you do attempt to change the color of your blooms by adding these minerals, dilute them well, and add sparingly. It is very easy to scorch your plants by adding too much. White hydrangeas are not affected by efforts to change bloom color.
Using Hydrangeas for Cut-Flower Arrangements
Cut them just as blooms fully develop.
Cut your flowers in the early morning, before the sun comes up to evaporate some of their moisture.
Cutting at diagonal will allow the stem to take in the most amount of water, some people will even cut slits or fray the ends of the stems a little.
Place your freshly cut flowers in a bucket of cool water to soak for an hour or two before arranging your final product.
Use a commercial floral preservative to get the best results. This will feed your flowers, maintain a constant pH, and will serve as an anti-microbial to prevent premature decay. You should be able to find this at a local nursery.
- Keep in mind that many gardeners and florists complain that hydrangeas wilt faster than other cut flowers and may require a little extra planning.
Keep it out of drafty areas and direct sunlight to prevent the flowers from drying. Finally, you can just sit back and admire your new décor or enjoy your special moment.
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Space according to ultimate size. Choose a good garden soil, high in organic matter that will help keep ample moisture available to the roots. The location should be sunny or partly shaded, the latter being preferable in dry areas.
If the pH of your soil is too high (alkaline), it can be reduced (made more acidic) by the addition of one tablespoon or more of Aluminum Sulfate per plant – this will make your flowers a deeper blue.
An annual mulch of compost is beneficial. In very cold or exposed locations, “hill” up the soil and mulch the base of the plant with pine needles or leaves. Most species require little pruning except the removal of dead flower heads after blooming or in early spring.
For H. arborescens, prune the previous year’s flowering wood to the ground in early spring. For H. macrophylla (H. hortensis) and H. serrata, thin out two- or threeyear- old flowering shoots at ground level to promote vigorous new growth. H.petiolaris should be pruned only for aesthetics.