The Oakleaf Hydrangea produces large white conical flower heads with large white sterile florets. The flowers are long lasting and fade through shades of pink and change to buff colors in the fall. The large unusual oak-leaf shaped, soft new foliage is somewhat olive green in spring, matures to a medium green and changes to reds, oranges, and purples in fall. Winter shows off the Oakleaf Hydrangeas peeling buff and coppery colored bark and tiny buds which look like praying hands at the tips of the stems. A native of the southeastern US, these are seedlings and so the number and size of sterile florets, overall flower size, and mature plant size may vary from the images shown. The images provided are examples only.
Good drainage in a moderately loamy, humus rich, soil and a consistent supply of moisture during dry periods are key considerations to success for Hydrangea quercifolia
. An organic mulch goes a long way toward helping maintain consistent and even moisture levels and once the Oakleaf Hydrangea is well established it is more resistant to periodic dry spells. In cooler more northerly latitudes the Oakleaf Hydrangea is known to tolerate more sun. As you move into hotter climates more shaded conditions are generally preferred for this species and its cultivars. Filtered shade and afternoon shade are preferred over heavy shade. Where the Oakleaf Hydrangea gets some sunlight it will typically have the most intense fall foliage colors. Checkout 'Oakleafs are Homesteading Along Sara's Branch
' at SFA Gardens by Dr. Dave Creech.
For more information on growing and selecting Hydrangeas below are some excellent online resources:
'Hydrangea Selection, Pruning, and Care
' from Virginia Cooperative Extension byMike Andruczyk
' from Alabama Cooperative Extension Service by Kerry Smith, Jerry Chenault, and Kenneth Tilt
Dr. Michael Dirr's book Hydrangeas for American Gardens, ISBN 0- 88192-641-8,is probably the most in depth publication covering practically all Hydrangea species and all but the newest cultivars.
Grows To: 6-12'H x 6-12'W
USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 5,6,7,8
Find your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone here
Outdoor Light: AM sun, Part shade, Light shade
Soil pH Range: Acidic, Mildly Acidic, Neutral, Mildly Alkaline
Soil Types & Moisture: Average moist, well-drained soils.
Deer Resistance: Sometimes Bothered
Native To / Cultivar Origin: US-SE
Please be advised that humans and/or animals may have allergic reactions if part(s) of this plant are consumed or by coming into contact with sap from bruised or broken plant parts: Flowers, Buds - Highly Toxic if Ingested, Sap - Eye Irritation and/or Dermatitis
More information about this plant from universities, horticulturists, and plantsmen.
View this species in the USDA Plants database
Container Size: Quart / 30 fl.oz. / 887 ml