Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Oak-leaf Hydrangea

Oak-leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

Sun to light shade; medium moisture level; prefers rich organic soil but will grow in coarse sandy loams to moderately fine silt loams (no heavy clay); slightly acid to slightly alkaline pH.

6-8 feet height by 6-8 feet spread; blooms in summer, white flowers fading to pink; small urn-shaped seed capsules in fall.

Growth Rate:  Medium

Maintenance:  Generally low maintenance.  Occasional disease problems and infrequent insect problems.  Does suffer from frequent wind and ice damage.  Blooms on old wood, so if needed, prune immediately after flowering.  Canes can be cut back to the ground every 2-3 years to keep the shrub smaller.

Propagation:  Seed germination code A.  Easy from cuttings and from seed.

Native Region:  Concentrated in southern boundary of the Coastal Plain and Highland Rim provinces

Deciduous shrub with large bold-textured leaves, showy white panicles of flowers, and exfoliating bark.  Attractive as a specimen plant, planted en masse or placed in a mixed shrub border.  Cultivars such as ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Roanoke’ are widely available.  Low wildlife value with limited use by songbirds and gamebirds.


One response to “Oak-leaf Hydrangea

  1. joystewart November 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    If you review planting guides, nearly all of them specify full shade for this shrub. I bought 3 of these plants and put them in full shade. The shrubs languished so badly that I talked to my county horticultural specialist. He told me that for some reason most references do incorrectly list full shade for this species and that I should dig the shrubs up and move them. So I dug them up and moved 2 to full fun and 1 to part sun. Boy, did they recover quickly, and the ones in full sun are now significantly larger than the one in part sun. So full sun and definitely not full shade is what this plant needs no matter what all the books say.

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