The Q&A Archives: Oakleaf Hydrangea

Question: I have several oakleaf hydrangea bushes in a row that are doing very well however, about 1 year ago,
one of them sustained some damage and several of the branches had to be removed.
My landscaper suggested that I not replace the bush because it was about 4 years old, established
and it would rejuvenate itself in the next few years with new growth.

I'm noticing this year that new growth is starting at the bottom and working it's way up but I'm concerned
that it won't fill in and regain it's former fullness. The location of this particular bush provided much needed
privacy. Should I replace it with a full grown shrub or will it QUICKLY rejuvenate itself back to it's original fullness?


Answer: This plant is not a fast grower in general. However, with an established root system, it is more likely to fill in quickly than a new plant would. I would be surprised if you are able to locate a fully grown specimen for replanting, however that would provide the immediate size you need. On the other hand, it might or might not be of precisely the same variety (or seed strain or cutting source). Since you have a matched set, I would suggest you be patient with the one you have and allow it to recover. To help it grow faster, you could make sure the soil is kept evenly moist and top dress with compost. An early summer application of a granular completre all purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 might also help. Follow the instructions on the label and do not overfertilize as this can do more harm than good.

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