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Sikes Dwarf Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf Hydrangea Shrub


Pack a tremendous amount of three-season color (and interesting winter texture) into a very small space with this compact, well-branched, heavy blooming dwarf oakleaf hydrangea, offering full sized blooms that turn from lime-green to ivory-white and finally antique pink, and can be left as seed heads to feed hungry birds in the winter. Its brilliant fall foliage and exfoliating, furrowed bark keep it attractive right through till spring.

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.

Hydrangea Incrediball Following just a few simple growing tips for hydrangea will produce healthy plants with fluffy colorful blooms year after year.

Planting Your Hydrangea

Planting your hydrangeas in early spring or in the fall is ideal. When you are planting a hydrangea, remember that the blooms and stems must be protected from strong winds and the hot afternoon sun. Avoid planting in open areas where strong winds could break stems. Planting on the eastern side of a building ensures that, in the afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest, your plants are in the shade.
Make sure your plant has good drainage. If the soil is too wet, the roots might rot, and the plant will die. Incorporate a lot of organic matter and an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer into the soil to give your hydrangea a strong start.

General Hydrangea Care

  • If you plant them in the summer, they need a lot more water in the beginning to establish the root system.
  • Most varieties thrive in full sun to part shade, as long as they are planted in moist, rich soil.
  • Water deeply once a week, and maybe more, if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
  • Hydrangea fertilization needs vary greatly, depending on your intended bloom color. Certain elements of the fertilizer affect the soil pH, which is a major determinant of bloom color in the pink/blue hydrangea varieties.

How to Adjust Hydrangea Color

Hydrangeas 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.
Hydrangea Nikko Blue Hydrangea Endless Summer 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.

To download this How-To for yourself, with complete information, please follow this link. Because the file is in PDF format, you will require the Adobe Reader to be able to view it. We hope that you will enjoy this guide and refer to it for years to come.

Hydrangea Planting:

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.


Maintenance:

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.


Zones:

Zones various

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