Best grown in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Mulch root zone in summer and provide somewhat constant moisture. Winter protection (e.g., burlap wrap) is advisable in USDA Zone 5, particularly when the plant is not fully established. Little pruning is needed, but should be done any time after flowering.
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.
SNOW QUEEN has an upright broad, rounded habit and typically grows 4-6' tall. Features elongated, conical clusters (4-12" long) of mostly sterile, white flowers which slowly turn pinkish purple with age. Long late spring to summer bloom period. Distinctive, deeply lobed, somewhat coarse, oak-like, deep green leaves (to 8" long) turn attractive shades of bronze, maroon or purple in autumn. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal a rich brown inner bark which is attractive in winter. This cultivar is very similar to the species, except the flower panicles herein are showier (i.e., larger and more numerous sterile flowers) and the flower stems tend to be more rigid and thus more apt to remain erect even after soaking rains.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf blight.
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.