Planting oakleaf hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea is a flowering shrub native to the Unitized States and hardy to USDA zone 5. Named for the shape of its leaves, oakleaf hydrangea displays white, cone-shaped or circular blooms from early summer into fall. The blooms can be cut for fresh floral arrangements or dried for long lasting reminders of summer. Spring is the best time to plant an oakleaf hydrangea.  Image courtesy of Anne Norman, Wikimedia Commons.

When looking for a place to plant an oakleaf hydrangea, choose an area with about 4 feet open for the shrub to expand. The location can be in partial shade or in full sun with late afternoon shade. The selected area needs to drain well so the roots are not standing in water. Unlike other hydrangea varieties, oakleaf hydrangea grows and blooms in most soil conditions. 
Dig the hole three times as wide and twice as deep as the as the root ball (if transplanting) or plant container to loosen up the soil. If the soil is mostly clay, it can be amended with about 25 percent pine bark mulch or 50 percent organic matter (leaf mold or compost).

The large blooms of the hydrangea shrub make it sought-after landscaping shrub. Whether from the nursery or a transplant from a friend, planting an oakleaf hydrangea will give you years of blooms for fresh or dried floral arrangements.

Toss some dirt back into the hole, filling it about halfway. Set the root ball or container in the center of the hole. The dirt at the top of the root ball/container should be level with the surrounding ground level. Adjust the dirt level in the bottom of the hole as needed. 

Water the shrub in the pot to ease removal from the container. If the shrub is wrapped in burlap, leave the burlap on the root ball. Place the root ball in the center of the hole, turning the best portion of the shrub so it faces outward. Backfill the hole halfway on a burlap-wrapped root ball. Once the hole is half-filled, fold the burlap down to expose the top have of the root ball. Finish filling the soil around the root ball. Water lightly around the root ball to settle the soil. Add more soil if needed to level out the surface.

Water deeply, directing the water flow over the root ball until the ground is thoroughly saturated (about 2 minutes for a gallon-size root ball and a slow running hose). Water about every 10 days unless there is a saturating rainfall.