Oakleaf Hydrangea Blooms Are Back - June 2023

Last Summer, we had just ONE bloom on all of our Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  One bloom on like six shrubs.  Why?  Because of the dang rabbits.  They FEASTED on these young shrubs all Winter.  In 2021, the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas in our backyard put on quite a show - with blooms in July and some quite lovely red colors in the Fall.   Anyone who reads up on various hydrangeas will quickly learn that Oakleaf Hydrangeas bloom on 'old wood' - meaning...they put out their flowers on growth that happens the previous Summer/Fall.  That's the very same growth that the dang rabbits were eating.  

As a result, last Fall, bought A LOT of chicken wire.   I learned from experience I had with the small Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea that I bought at the Morton Arboretum last Spring:  they grew their entire life inside of a chicken wire ring.  And they bloomed.    So, I created rings of chicken wire and surrounded every one of my Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  And the work paid off.  Here (below) is what the emerging green blooms look like on the tips of the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas: 

Oakleaf Hydrangea Flower Emerging

The shrubs are covered with these blooms-in-formation.  I'm excited to see them put out flowers and bloom this Summer.  And come Fall?  I'll bring my chicken wire rings back.  And (hopefully) at some point, these will be 'too tall' for the rabbits to reach and the wire won't be necessary.  


  1. So my first foray into the Oakleaf hydrangea game, ended similar to yours. I bought the ruby red slipper hydrangea and the rabbits ate it to the ground. It was gone. This year we about another oak leaf, planted in spring and surrounded it with chicken wire. So far the plant is untouched and flowering but I was wondering is it safe now to take the chicken wire off?

    1. I took my cages down in May. There was so much other stuff for the dang rabbits to eat, they seemed to leave them alone! Good luck.


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