Have you ever wanted a plant to bloom so badly you imagine you see blooms emerging. I have. Upon closer inspection it feels pretty silly when reality reveals the pretty tip growth is actually not the blooms you so desire would come forth. Instead newly unfurling leaves have fooled the wishful thinking... again.
Last spring, after allowing a whole year for the Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf hydrangea to get settled in since they were purchased, still NO blooms on the ends of any branches.
No matter. The large oakleaf-shaped foliage comes quickly alive in spring and turns to reddish brown-copper in autumn. It was decided that if by chance they never bloomed in this environment they were worth keeping just for the foliage interest and the cinnamon-hued stems.
Ah, your eyes do not fool you and you are not imagining that beautiful plant above does have ONE LONE BLOOM. This spring all three of the hydrangea shrubs decided to push out some pretty white flowers.
One lone bloom a plenty of pretty foliage on the hydrangea in the front gardens. But for the past several weeks the plant sited in the way back gardens has several large, cone-shaped blooms on the end of almost every branch. This is exciting stuff around here.
Oakleaf hydrangea is native to Florida which is one of the main reasons I decided to give it a try. I have a feeling they like it a bit further north than my zone 9-ish gardens. Which means the unusually cold winter we had this year probably helped bring about these blooms for spring.
Almost always when new plants that aren't readily found in my area are purchased I plant more than one. Experimenting with location helps me to know what the plant likes best. So I try to site them in different places and note how they each respond.
The one that bloomed best might get a tad more sun and a little less water than the other two. All are nestled up under towering oak trees. Oakleaf hydrangeas are easy maintenance requiring little attention in the way of irrigation or pruning or fertilizing.
We'll wait to see how they each do next year to come up with some final results with regards to their desire to bloom where their planted.
In the meantime, being a big fan of white and a big fan of hydrangea of any sort I'm just going to enjoy whatever it is they are willing to give.
Have a great weekend everyone.