Hydrangea quercifolia / Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Flake'Oakleaf hydrangeas are quite popular these days, and for very good reasons — because they’re large, dramatic, four-season plants that perform well anywhere with little or no care. What’s not to like?

It’s native from the Carolinas to Florida and Mississippi.


  • The popular variety ‘Snow Queen’ matures to 12′ tall and wide; the ‘Snow Flake’ shown here is shorter.
  • Not only tolerates deep shade but blooms just fine in such sites.
  • It also tolerates full sun, with more frequent watering.
  • Hardy in Zones 5-9.
  • Its leaves are as large as 8″ long and wide and turn rich burgendy in the fall.
  • Its flowers are 4 to 12″ long, open in June, and last 3-4 weeks.
  • The bark is exfoliating.
  • Grows fast with adequate moisture.


  • Definitely drought-tolerant.
  • Prune, if you must, right after blooming, but remember that will remove flowers that otherwise would look good for months. Instead, I do minimal renewal pruning (removing one-third of the stems — the oldest — to the ground), and only as needed.