Posted by jathton
(Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Oct 17, 2019 12:38 PM concerning plant:
Unlike its parent, which at maturity is too large for many home gardens, 'Munchkin' Oakleaf Hydrangea is perfectly suited to most residential gardens. Its mature size of 3-4 feet high & wide makes it suitable for foundation plantings as well as open borders and woodlands.
Unlike so many other flowering shrubs, including other forms of Hydrangea, the Oakleaf Hydrangeas offer the gardener three to four seasons of interest. Watching the plants leaves develop in spring is enjoyable because they are a good apple green color, they become quite large and they have a distinct "oak-like" shape. The blooms, which begin to open in early to mid-June, form dense pyramidal panicles that are usually 6-8 inches long. Individual flowers are snow white... but as they age the blooms turn a beautiful shade of soft pink... before turning cinnamon brown in fall. The leaves, in a good year, turn brilliant scarlet red before dropping. And in winter the bark, which is colored rich cinnamon brown, exfoliates much like the bark on birch trees.
This Hydrangea blooms on old wood... so it is important to remember to prune right after the plant blooms in early summer. If you prune in spring you are pruning off that years blooms.
In hot, humid summers like the ones we have in Oklahoma City... this plant will prefer being sited where it gets some afternoon shade and protection from the southwest summer wind. Otherwise it is an adaptable, fairly problem-free shrub with significant ornamental value.