How to Care for Oakleaf Hydrangea


The oakleaf hydrangea, native to the United States, is a deciduous flowering shrub. The cone-shaped flowers and oak-like leaves that change color in the fall make this plant unique among the hydrangea family. Also, unlike others in the hydrangea family, the oakleaf's flower color is not dependent upon the pH of the soil. Oakleaf hydrangeas need lots of room to spread out as the plants can grow as wide as 8 feet. The oakleaf hydrangea is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

Step 1

Choose a spot in your garden that will provide your plant with morning sun and afternoon shade. The oakleaf does not tolerate wet roots and is more prone to root rot than other hydrangea varieties. For best results, provide a light, loamy soil with good drainage.

Step 2

Water the oakleaf hydrangea often enough to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Step 3

Fertilize the oakleaf hydrangea two times during the summer up until August. Use an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. Always water prior to fertilizing.

Step 4

Prune your hydrangea in July by cutting off dead branches and flowers. Unlike other hydrangeas, the oakleaf will bloom on new growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • The oakleaf hydrangea is poisonous if ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer (10-10-10)
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Florida: Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • Texas A&M University: Hydrangeas Brighten Landscape
  • Floridata: Hydrangea quercifolia

Who Can Help

  • University of Connecticut: Oakleaf Hydrangea
Keywords: oakleaf hydrangea, hydrangea for warm weather, flowering shrubs

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.