Oak leaf hydrangea shrubs are native to the southern US. They like rich moist soil in partial shade. Morning sun is best as oak leaf hydrangea shrubs will wilt in hot afternoon sun unless provided with a steady supply of moisture.
The blooms of the oak leaf hydrangea shrub are long and pointed unlike the mop head bloom of a typical hydrangea. The shrub grows slowly, with an eventual height and width of 8-10 feet. To prune an oak leaf hydrangea shrub, cut the unruly stem back to the point where it meets a main branch.
Locate an area in the garden that gets 5-6 hours of direct sun each day, or has light shade most of the day.
Clean an area of weeds and other plants that can compete with the oak leaf hydrangea shrub. When planting under a tree, don't plant right next to the tree as the tree's roots will take too much water from the planting area. It's OK to plant in the shade of the tree, but plant several feet from the trunk.
Dig a hole wide enough so the roots of the oak leaf hydrangea shrub will fit comfortably in the hole and deep enough so the shrub is planted at the same depth or slightly deeper tha it was planted in the nursery pot.
Replace dirt in the planting hole with a mixture of one-half dirt that you removed from the planting hole and one-half well-rotted compost. When refilling the planting hole, allow a small stream of water from the hose to mix with the soil to prevent air pockets from forming around the roots.
Cover the area over the roots of the oak leaf hydrangea shrub with a 2-inch layer of mulch, leaving a 1-inch gap between the mulch and the main stem of the plant to prevent fungus problems and allow water to get to the root base easily.