How to Grow an Oak Leaf Hydrangea


Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is a large deciduous shrub with leaves resembling oak leaves and large, white flower clusters. Hardy in zones 5 to 9, the leaves turn color in the fall if planted in sunny areas. This shrub grows up to 5 feet high and just as wide and tolerates a bit of shade, especially in the afternoon hours. However, it may not do well in clay soils.

Planting and Care

Step 1

Plant container-grown plants in the spring, in well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball, but only as deep as it was in the pot. Add a bit of compost or manure to the soil, mix well, and place the plant in the hole. Cover with soil, compact and water generously.

Step 2

Once established, oakleaf hydrangeas need not be watered as often, since they don't like "wet feet". Overwatering will cause the roots to rot.

Step 3

Hydrangeas can be fertilized once or twice during the summer. Chemical fertilizer in a 10-10-10 formula will work well, or you can add compost or manure to the soil around the base of the bush

Step 4

Oakleaf hydrangeas should have a thin layer of mulch around the base of the shrub throughout the blooming season.

Step 5

Regarding pruning; this variety of hydrangea doesn't require it, unless there are fallen or broken branches that need to be removed. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the show.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hydrangea plant
  • Compost, manure or other organic material
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Shrubs and Vines; Pantheon Books, 1994.
  • New Complete Guide to Gardening;Susan Roth, 1997.
  • Planting Hydrangeas
Keywords: growing hydrangea, oakleaf hydrangea care, planting oakleaf hydrangea

About this Author

Sonia Acone is a full-time freelance writer in northeast Pennsylvania. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and is currently writing children's picture books, as well as online content and book reviews for the Picnic She holds a bachelor's degree in English and professional writing.