GATSBY MOON® Oakleaf Hydrangea

Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Height: 6-8' Width/Spread: 6-8'

It’s amazing to see a native oakleaf hydrangea out in a woodland, but it can be hard to picture it in the garden. That’s where the Gatsby series of H. quercifolia comes into play. This lovely native species becomes accessible to ornamental, small-scale woodland, and any other garden imaginable. For an out-of-this-world flower show, look no further than Gatsby Moon®. Really, its flowers are so massive and so round that seeing it in bloom truly reminded us of seeing the big, beautiful glowing moon at night. When it’s in bloom this plant stops you in your tracks and its pillowy mophead-like flowers draw you in for a closer look. They open a creamy white, misted with green, and slowly mature to a lovely shade of green that persists throughout the rest of the summer. Come fall, the foliage lights into glowing burgundy color, giving it even more appeal. Use it as an informal hedge or tuck it into a woodland or native garden to WOW your visitors.

Why grow Gatsby Moon® oakleaf hydrangea?

  • Densely packed, massive flowers.
  • Very sturdy, whimsically bent stems offer an architectural element.
  • Flowers mature to a handsome green color.


Light: While this is the most shade-tolerant type of hydrangea, it still needs some sun to produce flowers and get lovely fall color. All day dappled light or at least 4 hours of morning sun should be sufficient. For gardens at the cooler end of the hardiness range, it will thrive in full sun. For gardens at the warmer end of the range, it benefits from placement in afternoon shade.

Soil: Prefers moist soil that drains easily. Any period of extended sogginess will not be tolerated. Soil pH does not affect flower color.

Water: Average water needs.

Fertilizing: Nothing special required. If desired, you may apply a granular fertilizer formulated for flowering woody plants in late winter/early spring when the soil is workable.

Pruning: Pruning is not generally recommended. Flower buds are formed on old wood, so any cuts will likely remove flowering potential. Dead or damaged wood can be removed at any time, just cut back to a set of leaves. If you’d like to prune to shape the plant, this can be done when the plant is starting to break dormancy in early spring or late winter.

Other: Looks its best when established in the landscape, so trust that the awkward habit it may have in its nursery pot will transform into beauty.

Botanical Name

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Brother Edward' PP#25,413; CBR#5348


5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Flower Color

Green, White

Foliage Color







Full Sun, Part Sun


Average, Well-draining

Season of Interest



Borders, Foundations, Hedges, Mass Planting, Naturalizing, Screening, Specimen, Woodland gardens


Alkaline soil, Attracts pollinators, Clay soil, Fall interest, Foliage interest, Heat tolerant, Native, Salt tolerant

Blooms On

Old wood


Douglas and Brenda Hill


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Gardening Simplified magazine
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