Oakleaf Hydrangea Information


A deciduous, multistemmed, flowering shrub, oakleaf hydrangea is grown for its dramatic cone-shaped flowers and deeply cut foliage. Easy to grow in zones 5 to 9, oakleaf hydrangea forms dense mounds in partial to full shade.


There are several named species of oakleaf hydrangea and they range in size from 3 to 4 feet (Pee Wee) to 6 to 10 feet (Snow Queen).


White flower heads are 6 to 12 inches long. They age to pink and turn rusty-brown in fall.


Oakleaf hydrangea is a southeastern U.S. native, growing in the understory of hardwood forests.

Soil pH

Oakleaf hydrangeas require a soil pH of between 4.5 to 7.0. Unlike mophead hydrangeas, oakleaf flowers do not change color according to soil pH.


Hydrangeas can tolerate drought, but might not flower in dry conditions. While oakleaf hydrangea appreciates regular watering, it is prone to rot in wet, boggy soil. Plant in well-drained soil.


In fall, oakleaf hydrangea's foliage turns bronze, gold and purple and persists well into winter. Combined with the rusty-brown flower heads, it adds dramatic winter interest in the garden.


  • Floridata: Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • Backyard Gardener: Oakleaf Hydrangea
Keywords: oakleaf hydrangea, partial to full shade, winter interest

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