Plants We Love – Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf HydrangeaWe love incorporating this outstanding garden shrub in our landscapes.  The Oakleaf Hydrangea is a designer’s dream plant.  It brings drama to the landscape with its eye catching floral display in summer, fantastic texture and beautiful fall foliage display.

Oakleaf Hydrangea


The flowers on the Oakleaf Hydrangea are white to cream in color and form large grape like panicles.  The flower form has a mix of sterile and fertile florets, similar to the Lacecap Hydrangea.  As flowers mature, they get a blush of pink.


The Oakleaf Hydrangea wins!!  It wins the award for best year round interest.  It starts blooming in late spring and lasts till frost.  The foliage on the Oakleaf Oakleaf hydrangea fall foliageHydrangea is large in size and is a dark green that resembles the shape of leaf of an Oak tree.  The foliage turns to a dark red-purple color in the fall.  The branches on the Oakleaf Hydrangea are light cinnamon colored and have peeling bark which adds interest and texture.


There are many great cultivars of this plant.  Here are a few favorites.

  • Alice – very vigorous, large grower
  • Little Honey  – a dwarf, with bright chartreuse foliage that brightens up a dark shady spot
  • Sikes Dwarf – a nice compact grower
  • Snowflake – flowers are more dense, blooms a little later than othersOakleaf hydrangea
  • Snow Queen – more dense grower, holds up better in the sun

Keep your eyes out for the newest dwarf cultivar called Ruby Slippers.  This guy gets to be about 3.5’ tall and the flowers transform into a dark pink as they age.

Key feature: Year Round Interest

Plant type: Shrub

Garden styles:  Cottage, Woodland

Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous

Cold hardiness zones: 5 – 9

Light needs: Full shade to part sun

Water Needs: Requires regular watering.

Average landscape size: 6 – 10’ tall depending on cultivar

Growth habit: Upright

Special features: Year round interest

Landscape uses:  Shrub accent, or mass

Flower color: White

Foliage color: Dark Green

Oakleaf Hydrangea flower detail