Oakleaf hydrangea is a deciduous shrub recommended for growth in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9. It typically reaches heights of 6 to 8 feet and grows in an upright fashion. This shrub has large leaves that give a dramatic effect in the fall months, turning brilliant shades of orange and red. Oakleaf hydrangea is characterized by the beautiful blooms it produces which start out white and eventually turning a light pink color. This hydrangea has a longer blooming period than most beginning in early spring and continuing to early fall in some areas.
The oakleaf hydrangea prefers well-drained, rich soil and blooms best in partial shade or full sun. This shrub tolerates drought conditions well and also grows in sandy soils better than other hydrangeas. It also needs little pruning throughout the year.
Oakleaf hydrangea is beautiful placed in mass plantings or used as a border hedge. It also goes well around porches, decks and patios. This shrub is pretty enough to use as a specimen tree in a focal point in your yard, as well. While the foliage and blooms are lovely, this hydrangea also has unusual bark that makes it especially attractive. In the winter, the bark peels away to reveal a chocolate brown layer of velvety bark that accents any home landscape setting. Home gardeners who like to take fresh cuttings from their plants for decorating, will love oakleaf hydrangea. They can be cut and dried to create gorgeous centerpieces that look great anywhere inside your home.