University of Florida/IFAS Extension Director for Nassau County, Rebecca Jordi, answers questions about landscaping and gardening in northeast Florida.
QUESTION: What can you tell me about the Gatsby Oakleaf hydrangea? I am seeing them in the large garden centers. MM
JORDI: All of them prefer morning sun to partial shade in the afternoon. Do not plant them with an afternoon sun exposure. The oakleaf hydrangea is one of my favorites as I have about 4 of them in my own yard. They take very little care, fertilizing them once a year, watering them at installation and then afterwards if we have a drought. If we have a cool or cold fall the leaf color will show dramatic color change.
I believe oakleaf hydrangeas are underutilized and I am pleased see the industry spending time cultivating them. The Gatsby hydrangeas are Hydrangea quercifolia, with the specific cultivars identified as: ‘Gatsby Gal’, ‘Gatsby Pink’; ‘Gatsby Moon’ and ‘Gatsby Star’. All are “Proven Winners” and found at local garden nurseries.
Grow To 8-12 Feet Tall
Gatsby Gal can grow to twelve feet tall and flowers start out white but turn pink in the fall. Gatsby Pink can reach up to 8 feet tall with white flowers turning to a fabulous pink as it ages. Gatsby Moon grows to 8 feet tall with white flowers turning to green as they age. Gatsby Star grows to 8 feet starts with white flowers turning into a light pink. Notice their mature height and allow them plenty of room. Pick one or two, I promise you they will deliver you ages of pleasure.
Rebecca L. Jordi
Nassau County Extension Director
UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture
543350 U.S. Highway #1
Callahan, FL 32011