The Complete Guide for Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’) Care

The Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea, otherwise known as the Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ is a well known shrub native to the the Northeast of the United States.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast 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.

Fortunately, taking care of your Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea requires water regularly during initial weeks but a reduction in frequency once the plant is established.
  • Light: Keep your Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ in an environment where it can receive partial sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice' care

Description and Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea belongs to the Hypericaceae family, the genus Hypericum and the species Kalmianum, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ (hye-DRAYN-jee-uh kwer-sif-FOH-lee-a).

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

NameOakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’)
Watering Approx 1x per week (check top soil is dry)
LightPartial sun
SoilMoist to well-drained
USDA zones 5-9

Growing Region

The Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ is used to growing in specific regions such as the states in the Northeast of the United States.

You might be wondering why your Alice 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 ‘Alice’ will be most used to regions where the plant hardiness level falls between 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10.

Growth and Size

In terms of size and growth, the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

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

How big does an Alice oakleaf hydrangea get?

The Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ can grow up to 7′ – 11′ (2.13m – 3.35m) tall and 13′ – 16′ (3.96m – 4.86m) wide. Growing at a rate of 13” to 20” (33cm to 50cm) per year.

These dimensions make the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 20′ – 24′ (6m – 7.3cm) free so the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Alice 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 regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ requires water regularly during initial weeks but a reduction in frequency once the plant is established.

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

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice' buds


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Alice 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. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

The Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of sand, loam, and clay.

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

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea requires partial 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 ‘Alice’ 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 Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (mid, late).


You can expect your Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea produces some beautiful white, or gold/yellow flowers around this time of year.


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

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite and whorled organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice' spikes

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for wet soil, rocky soil, salt and dry conditions, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Alice’ will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, gravel and rock garden, and in prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea’s best location within your garden is in hedges and screens, banks and slopes, beds and borders, and in ponds and streams, others use it for landscaping in a cutting garden,

Companion Plants

Alice 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 Hosta will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Related Questions

What should I plant in front of oakleaf hydrangea?

If you’re looking for plants to put in front of your oakleaf hydrangea, ferns are a great option. Ostrich ferns and cinnamon ferns are two varieties that would work well. You could also consider shorter grass-like plants. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will thrive in shady conditions, as that’s what oakleaf hydrangeas need.

What do oakleaf hydrangeas look like in winter?

Oakleaf hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful shrubs in the winter garden. The bark peels back, revealing the dark layer beneath, and the leaves take on shades of red and orange. The flowers are gone, but the plant is still an important part of the winter landscape.

What month is best to plant hydrangeas species?

Fall is considered to be the best season to plant hydrangeas, as they are deciduous plants and will lose their leaves in winter. This means they won’t have to expend energy growing leaves in the early spring when it’s still cold and can put that energy into growing roots.

If you live in a colder climate, you may also want to wait until late spring or early summer to plant them, so they have a chance to get established before the first frost.

What happens to hydrangeas plants if you grow them too close together?ro

If you decide to plant hydrangeas too close together, the separate plants will touch sooner and then overlap at maturity. To avoid this, keep a distance of at least 2-3 feet between each plant. Also, make sure to choose a location with plenty of space for the plants to spread out as they grow.

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

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