Problems with Oakleaf Hydrangea

tantadoodles(z6 CT)April 2, 2006

About 3 years ago I planted 'Alice' against the foundation of my house. It more than doubled in size but never got any buds or blooms. After 2 years during the winter, I cut it back very severely and moved its location to a sunnier and less protected spot (thinking it needed more sun to flower). Last year it grew in tall stalks and then got chomped by some deer. (Of course it never flowered.) (Is this the saddest abuse story of a hydrangea or what?)

Now that it's spring I want to do the right thing for the poor plant. I know I pruned it way to much and now I'm thinking that the new location isn't so hot either.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to save my oakleaf and perhaps get it to flower? Thanks.

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The best way to help your Oakleaf is to stop pruning it. Even if the deer hadn't eaten it, it still would not have bloomed because you eliminated all the blooms with your winter pruning. This year's oakleaf blooms are formed on the terminal ends (tips) of the stems in the late summer/early fall of the prior season and therefore have to make it through winter in order to bloom in Spring/Summer. The only safe time to prune (if you absolutely must prune at all) is right after they bloom.

Alice can handle a good amount of sun up north and all oakleafs can handle a good amount of (preferably dappled) shade. Ofcourse morning sun & light afternoon shade is always best if you have such a locale.

Now the deer, I can't help you with!!

Good luck.....yg

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 4:27PM
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