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Hydrangeas: Oakleaf Snowflake Question

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Forum: HydrangeasReplies: 25, Views: 202
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Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #9191131

I had a few Snowflake (Hydrangeas quercifolia) and decided to add more. Bought some at a local nursery labeled as "snowflake" but they don't look the same to me. My existing snowflakes have double blooms and the new ones don't. Were the new plants mislabed or do snowflakes vary?

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Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9191134

Here's a photo of the "snowflakes" I had planted previously.
Thanks

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hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
8:39 AM

Post #9191202

The first photo is definitely not Snowflake. Take it back if you can
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 3, 2012
11:24 AM

Post #9191454

Have a look at this site. I have Snowflake, and it definitely is not one. I tried to order a second Snowflake at the beginning of the season, but it is very popular. Chris at Plant and Gnome , in a very upfront manner, told me that he did not have them. It flies off the shelf because Michael Dirr declared it the best (I agree). Indeed, Hydrangeas Plus promised me one and gave it away (guess who I don't order from?) But, as the article notes, some suppliers are selling singles as doubles.

Do try to take it back. I bought mine, and Alice, in bloom from a garden center.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
12:50 PM

Post #9191555

I got one at Wilkerson Mill last June in person. The owner said to buy it in bloom because there is no other oakleaf like it and you want to get the genuine thing.


Here is a picture of their snowflake.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 3, 2012
1:38 PM

Post #9191611

Here is a picture of mine from several years ago.

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Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2012
3:37 PM

Post #9191743

Thanks so much! I thought so, but it's nice to have it confirmed by folks who really know.
They were not cheap either. They were in five gallon containers and cost $75.00 each.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
5:12 PM

Post #9191876

Ouch! Definitely take it back if it cost that much. I wonder it this was Snow Queen instead which is nice but it isn't Snowflake.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 3, 2012
7:28 PM

Post #9192065

That is a RIDICULOUS price. Something along the lines of $45 is on the high side!

I got 3 foot snow queens from Plant and Gnome for $20 each. Three of them plus shipping was $70. If that is indeed a Snow Queen ththen this is highway robbery!

This message was edited Jul 4, 2012 7:57 AM
Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2012
7:49 PM

Post #9192120

No it has machine printed label that clearly i.d.s it as "Snowflake". Just want to be triple sure before I take it back.
We have a large wooded lot and Ive become a big fan of oakleafs. Of the many varieties I've planted 'Alice' has performed best. Snowflakes are my favorites but I've had poor luck in obtaining decent plants a few years back through mail order I purchased. five. When they arrived they were the sorriest looking little root stocks in torn up old grocery bags. And they were not cheap. When it comes to Snowflakes nurserymen must see me coming and know I'm an easy mark :) Only one of those plants made it through the Texas summer. I bit the bullet and bought these last two expensive ones because they were big and healthy.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
8:14 PM

Post #9192167

Ellen Huff is very nice too - better than Alice for blooms - much larger florets and holds color longer. Little Honey is wonderful just for the golden colored leaves.
Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2012
8:29 PM

Post #9192182

I'll check those out. So where is a good place to purchase them?

venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

July 3, 2012
8:34 PM

Post #9192185

Here's a Snowflake from Rarefind nursery. I think it was $35-$45 range. Very large when purchased. It's only in it's second year and quickly became my favorite oakleaf.

Thumbnail by venu209   Thumbnail by venu209
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 4, 2012
4:40 AM

Post #9192389

Try Plant and Gnome. I've made four purchases. Huge plants, low prices, excellent packaging, and low shipping. I got my Snowflake from him. And when I tried to get more this spring and he did not have them, he was honest about it. You will not find lower prices.

And he answers his phone!

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/2494/
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2012
6:01 AM

Post #9192446

Wilkerson Mill has good prices and gallon sized plants by mail too. They may be closed until the fall though.

My Snowflake had two blooms this year and both are on the ground due to their size and weight.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole   Thumbnail by hcmcdole   Thumbnail by hcmcdole
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 4, 2012
7:00 AM

Post #9192518

It's such a lovely plant. No wonder we all covet it!

Plant and Gnome sends bareroots. That's why the shipping ($10!) is so low, even though it is through Fex EX. I got three foot bareroots - three of them, plus shipping, for $70.00. Containerized plants of that size cost about $50.00. His were $20. (my first Snowflake, a few years ago, was $12!) I think it is because he and his wife do everything. A most unconventional man - a Brit in West Virginia?

Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 4, 2012
11:15 AM

Post #9192836

I'd prefer to wait till fall to plant them. I'm in Texas and getting plants through the summer can be a challenge here.
And again thanks for sharing your knowledge with me.
luis_pr
Hurst, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2012
4:14 PM

Post #9193192

Yes, plant them in the Fall if you can afford to wait. I try not to plant anything in July-August. Where did you get that Snowflake, Siggy? Mail order or local? I have not seen anything but Alice and Pee Wee's sold locally. Just make sure the soil drains well as I lost an Alice about 3-5 years ago when we had heavy rain weekly from Spring thru July. My Alice was planted under a maple for shade protection but it still got root rot (that is oakleaf hydrangeas main weakness).
Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 4, 2012
4:59 PM

Post #9193227

Luis, I bought them at Covington's in Rowlett. And I should mention they've always been good to me and I'm sure they'll take them back. It's nice to know there's someone knowledgable about hydrangeas in our area. Have you ever tried growing the variety 'amethyst'? All the ones I grew died. Those I know were in raised beds.
luis_pr
Hurst, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2012
7:44 PM

Post #9193361

No, I have not seen too many oakleafs for sale locally although they are drought tolerant. I have only seen the wine red blooms in pictures from Internet / mail order sources. How long did yours live? Did you get to see their bloomage before they died? Do they have nice fall color (pictures usually do not show that)?
Siggy
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 4, 2012
8:36 PM

Post #9193417

I think the amathyst lasted a year. We had just moved to this house and I planted many oakleafs of many varieties. All at that go around were purchased online. All were small. The amathyst never got very big or did well. So I wasn't viewing it at its best. Its blooms we're so so and it had fall color noticeably showier than the others. But again it isn't a fair comparison since all were still tiny. When the amathyst died I moved an Alice in the exact spot. And the Alice is now over seven feet tall.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 5, 2012
3:40 AM

Post #9193555

I also have an Alice. It has been in for years and is a very sound plant. I read Michael Dirr's original "Hardy Trees and Shrubs" and then his book on hydrangeas. I choose Snowflake (which he just loves and said has been a staple in his yard for close to two decades) and also likes Alice. At the time, those were the two that he said had the strength to keep their branches from drooping entirely to the ground. He was in Georgia. In his book specifically on hydrangeas he also noted that Snow Queen tended to "fizzle out" in the south but did well in the north. Snow Queens are a somewhat common sight up here. But I have the only Snowflakes and Alices I've ever seen, and I drove up to Milaegers in Racine (no mail order) to pick out my plants in bloom.

He also spoke very favorably of Alison, which I have never seen anywhere. He stated that Harmony and Roanoke had flowers so big that the branches arch, that being one of his reasons for being a Snowflake fan.

I took Dirr's recommendations for every tree and shrub in my yard and have been very happy. He has a followup book "Hardy Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates". I'll bet it's in your library, and it's an informative, and very entertaining read - tons of pictures, and lots of comments and recommendations. He'll tell you what he likes, and very amusingly, what he doesn't like.
luis_pr
Hurst, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 5, 2012
3:51 AM

Post #9193559

Yes, Alice is the one that died on me due to root rot. Way too much rain that tropical year! You really need to pick a good spot where water will drain away or suffer when rains come in bundles (it was an El Nin~o year; that triggered the exagerated amounts of rainfall here). I am trying Pee Wee now in a different spot as the old location is now sunny. I also used expanded shale this time to help absorb and release water just in case we get another large rain spell.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 5, 2012
5:44 AM

Post #9193634

Luis, I can't pretend to have your leval of expertise (you are obviously THE hydrangea guru) but I do think that hydrangeas in general are somewhat choosey about location, soil and water. I was made a gift of a landscape sized Endless Summer by a builder who went overtime and somewhat over budget. He was such a nice young man (26) controlling his first project, and so I didn't make a big deal of it. I installed it against a wall on the south side of my yard, and I would water it every week with two gallons from a container, or with a soaker hose for 15 minutes, and fertilize it once a month.. It just thrived. I used to go out and visit it as though it was a pet. It was so lovely, and I never would have bought it.

They popped up all over my community, in very conspicuous places. One person put 12 along the cement walkway on the north side, in front of his house and they all died. I have read a lot of comments about the experience that they don't live or thrive. I am the take care Momma of my plants (I have been accused of caressing every leaf) but I think I was just lucky.
luis_pr
Hurst, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 6, 2012
8:37 PM

Post #9196004

Yes, they can be choosey, can't they! How has your experience been with your ES, Snowflake and Alice? Which one your are most happy with?

Oh, and how sad for those 12 hydrangeas! And now that I think about it, how expensive too!!!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 7, 2012
5:46 AM

Post #9196222

My experience with all three has been nothing but excellent. Snowflake is the one that makes my heart beat fastest. So spectacular! So huge! It stops traffic. I love the different and unusual in a plant that is relatively widely available, at least up here.

Alice is like a more delicate kind of Snowflake. Perhaps 80% of the size of Snowflake. It's more demure, and when I put the two together, I find myself completely charmed by it. I wouldn't choose it over Snowflake, but I love having both.

When I was given an Endless Summer, I appreciated the gesture, because it was a big one. And it was being heavily promoted, which always turns me off. But I found a great place for it, and did my usual research on "ok plant, what do you want"? Then it turned into a gorgeous thing. That is why I am so happy to have found the new ones. This is a plant that is substantial and beautiful. It has more heft and a feeling of mass than the oakleafs, and forms a great contrast. I love the progression of the flowers. The last picture is in fall, on a foggy morning, with the grasses beginning to bloom. It gives you an idea of the size.

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