Hydrangea quercifolia
Common Name: oakleaf hydrangea
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White changing to purplish pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Easily grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Thrives in moist soils, and appreciates a summer mulch which helps retain soil moisture. Bloom occurs on old wood. Prune if needed immediately after flowering (little pruning is usually needed). Winter damaged stems may be pruned in early spring. Plants should be given a sheltered location and winter protection (e.g., mulch, burlap wrap) in USDA Zone 5, particularly when not fully established. Plants can lose significant numbers of flower buds or die to the ground in harsh winters (temperatures below -10 degrees F), thus respectively impairing or totally destroying the bloom for the coming year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hydrangea quercifolia, commonly called oak leaf hydrangea, is an upright, broad-rounded, suckering, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically grows 4-6' (less frequently to 8') tall. It is native to bluffs, moist woods, ravines and stream banks from Georgia to Florida to Louisiana. It is noted for producing pyramidal panicles of white flowers in summer on exfoliating branches clad with large, 3-7 lobed, oak-like, dark green leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf blight and powdery mildew. Aphids and spider mites are occasional visitors.

Garden Uses

Mass or group in a mixed shrub border or naturalize in a native plant or open woodland garden. Also may be used for backgrounds, accents or specimens, foundation plantings or hedges.