Oakleaf hydrangea is the most drought tolerant type of hydrangea shrub. They originate from the lower southeastern United States where they are found growing along sandy stream banks. Noted for their deeply lobed green leaves, oakleaf hydrangea bear dense coneheads that are made up of nickel-sized white bracts. Oakleaf varieties grow best in moist, well-drained soil.
Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Snowflake’
Oakleaf hydrangea ‘Snowflake’ (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’) is a variety that has a spreading habit and moderate growth rate. It grows 6 to 10 feet tall and wide and looks striking grown in masses along beds and borders. The white, double, spring-blooming flowers on ‘Snowflake’ are layered on top of one another to create a vibrant display. As the blooms begin to fade at the end of summer, they cast a purple to pink hue. The deeply lobed, matte green foliage produces striking shades of red and purple in fall. Frost-tolerant, they withstand periods of below-freezing temperatures but without sacrificing their blooms. ‘Snowflake’ hydrangea grows best in full sun to part shade. They are suitable in USDA Zones 5 to 9.
Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Snow Queen’
Oakleaf hydrangea ‘Snow Queen’ (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’) is a deciduous shrub variety that has a moderate growth rate and spreading habit. They grow 6 to 10 feet tall and wide and produce 8-inch-long, creamy white, conical flowers that bloom in early summer. Noted for its deeply lobed foliage, ‘Snow Queen’ has stunning fall colors that add a vibrant display to the landscape. As the flowers dry, they take on a purple to pink hue. They grow best in full sun to part shade and are ideal as a fresh cut flower or used in a dried arrangement. ‘Snow Queen’ grows best in USDA Zones 5 to 9.
Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Alice’
Oakleaf hydrangea ‘Alice’ (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice') is a deciduous shrub that has an upright, rounded and broad habit. It grows 5 to 8 feet tall and wide and is noted for its arching, 10- to 14-inch-wide, large panicles or blooms. The pyramidal panicles feature pure white flowers that emerge in June to last several weeks, gradually fading to pink and brown by late summer. The 8-inch-long, deep green, oak-like leaves cast shades of maroon and bronze in fall. Oakleaf hydrangea ‘Alice’ grows best in full sun to part shade in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Plant in USDA Zones 5 to 9.