If you like the elegance, white panicle flowers and fall leaf color of the oakleaf hydrangea but don’t have much space, ‘Pee Wee’ is for you. This dwarf oakleaf hydrangea carries the beautiful qualities of its large cousins ‘Alice’, ‘Snow Queen’ and ‘Snowflake’, but is compact and short.
‘Pee Wee’ extends 4 to 5 feet tall to 6 feet wide. Its generous white flower spires are more petite and the leaves proportionately sized for this smaller shrub.
‘Pee Wee’ is a native, four-season show of texture, color and sculpture. In spring, its soft tan branches are tipped with light green leaf and flower buds. They unfold gracefully. Leaves mature to a deep green. The 4- to 5-inch white flower clusters open successively for nearly four months. Clip them off through summer after they’ve turned brown. For winter interest, leave some attractive, dried flower clusters on to complement the exfoliating bark.
Common Name: Dwarf oakleaf hydrangea
Botanical Name: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’
Color: Flower panicles bloom white then become rosy pink with age. Leaves open green then turn red-burgundy in autumn
Blooming Period: Midsummer into late fall
Type: Woody shrub
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall to 6 feet wide
Exposure: Blooms best in partial shade; tolerates deep shade or sun when sufficiently watered
When to Plant: Spring, fall
How to Plant: Plant 5 to 6 feet apart
Watering: Average, prefers moisture when getting established
When to Prune: Prune off dead branches anytime. Clipping a few long branches for form in spring will remove some flower buds but ‘Pee Wee’ is so floriferous you won’t notice a loss.
When to Fertilize: Minimally in spring
In Your Landscape: Mixed ornamental beds, woodlands, cottage gardens, shrub and tree beds
Charlotte Kidd, M. Ed. is a writer, professional gardener, garden designer, garden coach, educator and Temple University Instructor at CharlotteKidd@Charlotte1.us.