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Oak leaves hydrangea

Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61
hi all
I bought 3 oak leaves hydrangeas maybe 3 years ago and they have been horribly neglected in a dark corner because the area I bought them for still
isnt ready.
they kept leaves all through those winters so maybe they can’t be too unhappy, but they are leggy. I’ve looked up pruning recommendations, but being Group 1 there’s a general “no need unless getting to big”etc would it be unwise to crop them down when I repot them/finally plant them?

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  • Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,050
    They must be struggling very badly in those tiny pots. 
    I'd prune those, as long as you don't have a lot of frost forecast. 1 or 2 degrees of frost will do no harm. Repot them if you have nowhere in the ground for them, and make sure it's a soil based compost if you can get it. If your garden soil is any good, use that. 

    They become very big shrubs, so if they've been in there all that time, it's a wonder they're still alive!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,730
    When I read the title of your post I thought it was some sort of broken love affair, as in "John leaves Mary". ;) That particular species of hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia goes by the names of oak-leaved hydrangea or oakleaf hydrangea, actually.

    And I hope you can save it, it's a nice plant to grow (in the ground, of course).

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61
    #fairygirl
    i wouldn’t say we have great soil, it’s heavy clay , but they are supposed to like clay? However, I managed to get some bags of compost recently so I can combine? I’m definitely reporting 2 and one can go in the ground. 
    Not expecting a bad frost, but I have a potting shed and the place they are going will be sheltered any.
    thank you x I will give them a good trim. I’m sure they’ll bounce back 🤞

    yes Papi Jo :) typing too quickly and running out the door this morning!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,050
    Clay is fine. It's ideal for hydrangeas, and these ones don't mind the type of soil in the way the other ones do. If you can add some compost to open it up a bit, that will help. Although they enjoy damp conditions, they still need adequate drainage.
    The oak leafs also cope with drier conditions and a bit more sun than the others, but in pots, I'd keep them in a shadier spot. They're very vulnerable at the moment, and in pots, they'll dry out quicker. If you have any bark, that would be a good mulch to put on after watering well. 
    I'd certainly try and get some garden soil into the pots though. They really need to be in something sizeable though. They aren't suited to being in pots long term anyway.  Be sure to tease out the roots as well when repotting or planting. They'll all be very pot bound. A good soaking first too. 

    Don't worry - it was perfectly obvious what plant you were talking about.  Hope they come away for you, they're lovely shrubs, especially in autumn:)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61
    Thank you 😊 I will do my very best for them. They deserve it after all this time. I think the only reason they survived was that they were on a tray which kept them moist (so they must REALLY like damp). 
  • Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61
    edited 5 May
    update! i cut them back and gave each of them a nice big pot with good compost and all three patients are leafing up nicely from their cropped base.
    Their new home is currently being prepared 👍
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,050
    Lovely jubbly  :)
    They can cope with a drier soil and more sun than the 'usual' hydrangeas. The fact that they were in such small pots means the constant moisture would certainly have helped, as there would be very little soil there to help. 
    Just keep them somewhere in dappled shade for now though - I would't expose them to full on sun as they'll dry out quickly in the pots. Good luck!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Aurum66Aurum66 Posts: 61
    they are currently in my "nursery" 
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