Plant of the Week: Gatsby Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Gatsby Gal oakleaf hydrangea from Proven Winners
Gatsby Gal oakleaf hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea) is a wonderful native plant for North American gardens. With its distinctive texture, outstanding fall foliage and appealing summer flowers, it is a delightful addition to woodland gardens and other landscapes.

Gatsby Gal™ is a compact variety that is a good choice for smaller landscapes. It grows 5-6' tall and wide. If you have a little more room, consider Gatsby Moon™ (full, doubled flowers), Gatsby Star™ (distinct, star-like florets) or Gatsby Pink® (early pink color). They will all grow 6-8' tall. These are superstars for the fall landscape!

Gatsby Moon oakleaf hydrangea from Proven Winners
Gatsby Moon oakleaf hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia grow into USDA Zone 5, and will adapt to full sun or partial shade. They bloom on old wood, so just sit back and enjoy the rich fall foliage - don't prune them!

True confession: I did not enjoy reading The Great Gatsby.

Granted, it was in high school, and I should probably give it another try. But I just can't bring myself to do it. Perhaps because it seemed to be a novel about boring, selfish people and there are so many other books I actually want to read - why give a dud another try?

The Great Gatsby wasn't a success when it was released in 1925. Not until WWII did it gain popularity, eventually becoming prestigious enough to be assigned to surly high school students.

Gatsby Star oakleaf hydrangea from Proven Winners
Gatsby Star oakleaf hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia also improves with age. To really appreciate the appeal of an oakleaf hydrangea, give it a few years in the ground. That sort of long-term thinking doesn't always work in our on-demand-just-in-time-fast-food world, but some things are worth waiting for. The intriguing texture and color of oakleaf hydrangea is one of them.

Perhaps I will give The Great Gatsby another try. After all, that next Game of Thrones book is taking a while to get here.

Gatsby Pink oakleaf hydrangea from Proven Winners
Gatsby Pink oakleaf hydrangea
Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles.

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