The Hydrangea Quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) Full Care Guide

The Oakleaf Hydrangea, otherwise known as the Hydrangea Quercifolia is a pretty well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Oakleaf Hydrangea Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

In order to take proper care of your Oakleaf Hydrangea you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Oakleaf Hydrangea needs water sparingly when growing on land. Wait for the top two inches of soil in the container to dry before watering if its potted.
  • Light: Keep your Hydrangea Quercifolia in an environment where it can receive partial shade to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Oakleaf Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Oakleaf Hydrangea this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Oakleaf Hydrangea belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family, the genus Hydrangea and the species Quercifolia, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Hydrangea Quercifolia (hy-DRAIN-juh kwer-se-FOH-lee-uh).

As with other Hydrangea’s, the Oakleaf Hydrangea is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Oakleaf Hydrangea is a plant native to the Southeastern United States of America.

You might be wondering why your Oakleaf Hydrangea’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Hydrangea Quercifolia will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 2B, 3A, 3B.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Oakleaf Hydrangea is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Oakleaf Hydrangea are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Hydrangea Quercifolia can grow up to 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm) in 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm) and 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm) in 6′ – 8′ (180cm – 240cm). 


In terms of watering, the Oakleaf Hydrangea is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Hydrangea Quercifolia needs water sparingly when growing on land. Wait for the top two inches of soil in the container to dry before watering if its potted.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Oakleaf Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Oakleaf Hydrangea then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Oakleaf Hydrangea needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Oakleaf Hydrangea prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Oakleaf Hydrangea requires soil with high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Oakleaf Hydrangea requires partial shade to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Hydrangea Quercifolia in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Oakleaf Hydrangea will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Oakleaf Hydrangea to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer). In particular, this shrub is well known for its long bloom season, flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Oakleaf Hydrangea produces some beautiful white, purple/lavender, cream/tanpink, and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Oakleaf Hydrangea have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Hydrangea Quercifolia to be around (> 6 inches) in size.


Does your Oakleaf Hydrangea have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Hydrangea Quercifolia owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Oakleaf Hydrangea’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as mass planting, border, cutting garden, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Oakleaf Hydrangea’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Azalea, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Clethra will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Oakleaf Hydrangea in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

Recent Posts