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Hydrangea (quercifolia)

Joel L. Douglas
USDA NRCS - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center
2533 County Road 65
Coffeeville, Mississippi 38922-2652
(601) 675-2588
(601) 675-2369 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Hydrangeaceae
Scientific Name: Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr.
Common Name: Oakleaf hydrangea
Species Code: HYQU3
General Distribution: Found from Florida and Georgia to Louisiana, north to Kentucky and Tennessee.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 7 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 0.6 to 1.2 meter (2 to 4 feet).
Propagule Collection: Collected in Natchez Trace Parkway, between mile marker 52 and 53 by B.B. Billingsley, Jr in November 4, 1993 and November 18, 1994.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Seeds were shaken from the capsules and required little cleaning other than limited hand screening to remove some trash.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: No pretreatment required. Seeds germinate readily in two weeks (Dirr and Heuser, 1987).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse.

Seed Propagation Method: Sown in flats or packs.

Container Type and Volume: 2-gallon plastic containers were the final planting container for the 3X section. Plants to be planted on the other sections needed to be held longer so they were moved from a 2 to a 3-gallon in 1995.

Growing Media: Media was mixed by PMC staff and ranged from a 3:1 to 6:1 pine bark to sand medium throughout the production years.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: March to April.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Oakleaf hydrangea seeds are very tiny. Initially, seeds were sown in a planting flat on the surface of the growing medium. However, the small size of the seeds resulted in a planting rate that was too heavy and seedlings quickly became crowded. Attempts to transplant these densely growing seedlings led to a great deal of mortality. However, leaving the crowded seedlings in the flat also led to the same result. Subsequent plantings were made in cell packs, which provided space between clumps of seedlings. Seedlings in each cell were then treated as a single plant. Seedlings also grew better if the planting flats were sub-irrigated, which decreased damping off by keeping moisture off of the leaves and stems.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Early to mid-November.

Seed Storage: Normal cool, dry storage. PMC cooler is maintained at 12.7 C (55 F) and 45% relative humidity.

Seed Dormancy: None is apparent (Dirr and Heuser, 1987).
Other Comments: Vegetative Propagation Method: Oakleaf hydrangea is fairly difficult to root from cuttings. Cuttings should be taken from May to July (Dirr and Heuser, 1987). Cuttings from the current year's growth taken in July from plants along the Natchez Trace Parkway rooted in very low percentages.

Propagator: Janet Grabowski and B.B. Billingsley, Jr.

Comments: Containerized plants did not overwinter well. Root growth was adversely affected by saturated growing media and diseases, a result of the wet winters characteristically experienced in Mississippi. Seedlings were capable of growing to plantable size in one year and should be planted out without overwintering.
References: Dirr, M.A. and Heuser, C.W, Jr. 1985. The reference manual of woody plant propagation from seed to tissue culture. Varsity Press, Inc., Athens, GA.
239 p.


Billingsley, Jr., B.B.; Grabowski, Janet M.. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr. plants USDA NRCS - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center Coffeeville, Mississippi. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/07/27). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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