This is one of the best new oakleaf hydrangeas there is. The plants themselves are shorter, more compact. It's a dense oakleaf that holds the flowers high, without the dreaded flopping. It has good posture!
Jetstream's white cone-shaped flowers age to pink, then to a deeper rose. This antiquing process lasts from summer to fall, and beyond if you enjoy the dried and brown structure of a spent flower, late in the season's journey (into winter), like I do.
I haven't met an oakleaf hydrangea that didn't sport amazing burgundy or red fall color. They simply don't disappoint, even in our oppressive Zone 8a with sometimes wimpy fall displays (due to the heat). Jetstream fits in with the pack, sporting the burgundy and red color in autumn.
The bark is highly pleasing - exfoliating in cinnamon and tan shreds. Keep in mind you won't be able to see this bark until winter; dormancy in general is a good time to enjoy the subtitles of bark.
Sun or shade? Both is best. In The South, try to find a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It flowers better with some sun, plus sun keeps them a little more compact and dense; they open up, stretch out, and flower less with more shade. In Northern climates then can do with full sun, but look for a situation where they're in an area protected from the coldest temperatures - they may die back some in northern winters, but they flower on new wood so you should get flowers every year in The North.
At the risk of discouraging you from growing this special, native hydrangea, I'm going to bring up a pathology issue. If you've ever had an oakleaf just up and die on you, I'm sorry to hear that. It's not because you have a black thumb! I've lost several over my 30 years of gardening and coached many through this issue. There's a bacteria in the soil that kills them. The symptoms are that they wilt and no amount of water can help them recover because the bacteria has damaged their vascular system, resulting in an afflicted oakleaf that can't transport the water you're giving it. They succumb to the pathogen and they die. It's a hard reality that sometimes strikes, but I have some tips:
- please don't plant any hydrangea into the same spot to replace a dead oakleaf
- please keep trying in a different location; it's worth the effort to have an oakleaf hydrangea (or three!) in your garden that will live long-term
- try to encourage beneficial bacteria and fungi in your garden by applying products that contain mycorrhizae (I use MycoApply Suluble MAXX) and other beneficial bacteria (I use Actinovate)
Grower's Note: We grow oakleaf hydrangeas is RootMaker pots so we induce the best, well-branched, non-circling roots possible. These pots are expensive, so we take your plant out of the pot, then we clean and reuse the pot (recycling at its best). To ship your plants, we carefully wrap the roots in a compostable plastic bag, then put them in a paper bag; then they are boxed. This triple packaging holds together very tightly during shipment. Please have a pot on hand to shift them up into, but they will hold as-is in the packaging we send them for several days before planting (please water them!). The goal of this system is to have good roots and reduce trash.
Jetstream oakleaf hydrangea, oakleaf hydrangea, hydrangea, native hydrangea
flowering shrub, deciduous
white, antiquing rose
- Spring: medium green
- Summer: medium green
- Fall: burgundy, red
Fall Leaf Color Quality
cinnamon-brown and tan exfoliating
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
sun, part shade
To Make It Thrive
Give Hydrangea quercifolia Jetstream rich soil plus consistent moisture in a soil that drains. It may require extra watering, but no standing water. Oakleaf hydrangeas love a layer of compost, then a layer of mulch on top - both to provide a rich and cool root zone. Place it in partial shade in the deep south (zones 8 and 9), but full sun is okay farther north. Best flowering is with some sun.