Oakleaf hydrangea growth rate

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission if readers purchase products through these links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Wondering about oakleaf hydrangea growth rate? Not only are these beautiful plants a great addition to any outdoor space, but they also have an impressive growth rate that makes them perfect for busy homeowners who don’t have much time or energy to devote to gardening.

Oakleaf hydrangea shrubs typically grow about 1-2 feet taller each year until they reach their mature height. Miniature varieties like PeeWee usually put on up to a foot of growth annually, reaching only 3-4 feet tall when fully grown. Larger cultivars like Gatsby Pink grow more like 2 feet per year in good conditions, reaching 6-8 feet tall. 

This hydrangea species is not a shade lover and grow fastest when planted in warm temperatures, a full sun planting location, and in an area with plenty of soil moisture. Larger varieties tend to grow faster than small varieties. Oakleaf hydrangeas tend to grow wider and bushier faster than they grow taller, and are great for filling up a space in just a few years.

In this blog post, we’ll explore oakleaf hydrangea growth rates and how best to maintain and encourage them so you can enjoy their beauty all year long. Read on to learn all about oakleaf hydrangea’s growth rate!

Oakleaf hydrangea growth rate

Oakleaf hydrangea growth rate basics

Oakleaf hydrangeas are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add color and texture to their outdoor spaces. But before you start planting, it’s important to understand the growth rate of these plants so that you can plan accordingly.

Ideal climate conditions for speedy growth

Oakleaf hydrangeas grow best in climates with long growing seasons and mild temperatures. If your area experiences very cold winters or overly hot summers, this could slow down the growth rate of your oakleaf hydrangea significantly. However, if you live in a temperate area with warm springs and falls, your plant should thrive!

Oakleaf hydrangea in partial shade

Sunlight effects on growth rate

Sunlight is one of the most important factors when it comes to oakleaf hydrangea growth rate. In general, these plants grow the fastest when they receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Oakleaf hydrangeas can generally be planted in the all-day sun in mild areas but often do better with some afternoon shade in regions with very hot summer afternoons. Look for a planting area where the leaves get maximum morning sun and are protected from harsh environments.

Watering and nutrient effects on growth rate

Just as plants need sunlight, they also need water. Oakleaf hydrangeas are not particularly drought tolerant and can become stressed and stop growing when they experience a lack of water. Likewise, a lack of a specific nutrient like Nitrogen can stunt their growth. For speedy growth, they need consistent access to water that contains all the necessary mineral nutrients for healthy growth.

Effect of cultivar genetics on growth rate

Many varieties of oakleaf hydrangeas are available, each with its unique characteristics regarding size and shape. Some grow faster than others, but all will reach a mature size within 3-5 years in ideal environmental conditions. It is important to consider the current and potential mature sizes when selecting which variety is right for you.

Planting tips for optimal growth

A fast growth rate depends upon getting the plant off to a good start. Here are the planting basics for a healthy oakleaf hydrangea.

Soil preparation

The soil for oakleaf hydrangeas should be well-draining and slightly acidic. Adding organic matter such as compost or peat moss can help improve the drainage of heavy clay soils. To ensure optimal growth, it is important to test your soil’s pH level before planting and adjust accordingly with lime if needed.

Sunlight requirements

Oakleaf hydrangeas prefer full sun in cooler climates but need some shade in warmer areas. If you live in a hot climate, try to find a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade to keep your plants from getting too much direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

Water requirements

It is important to water oakleaf hydrangeas regularly so they do not dry out completely between watering sessions. During extreme heat or drought periods, they may need more frequent watering than usual; however, care should be taken to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot or other issues.

As a rule of thumb, checking the soil moisture levels every few days is recommended. You can check by sticking your finger into the top inch or two of soil. If it feels dry, it is time for another drink.

Oakleaf hydrangea pruning

Pruning and Maintenance Practices

Proper pruning practices and other maintenance tasks can have an important effect on growth rates.

Pruning season effect on growth rate

In general, pruning in early spring encourages vigorous growth, while pruning in the summer can stunt growth. Oakleaf hydrangeas are most commonly pruned in the summertime because pruning in the spring would trim off their flower buds, and the plant would not flower that summer.

So, for young oakleaf hydrangeas that are not yet flowering much, you can prune them in late winter or early spring to encourage vigorous growth during the upcoming growing season. Just know that they will not bloom during that growing season.

Established oakleaf hydrangeas that are nearing mature size are often flowering quite well. For these plants, move to the ideal summer pruning timing, trimming them right after the flowers start to fade in the summer.

How to prune oakleaf hydrangeas

When pruning oakleaf hydrangeas, start by removing any dead or diseased branches first and then move on to shaping the shrub as desired. You can also remove any shoots that are growing outside of where you want your shrub to stay contained within its designated area.

To keep a natural shape, try cutting back only one-third of each stem at a time and leaving some leaves on each branch so that photosynthesis can continue taking place in order for healthy growth and flowering later on in the season.

Fertilizing your oakleaf hydrangea regularly with an all-purpose fertilizer can help promote healthy growth throughout the year. It is recommended to fertilize once a month during spring and summer when plants are actively growing, but avoid doing so in winter as this could lead to tender new growth which may not survive cold temperatures if frost occurs unexpectedly overnight. Additionally, be careful not to overfertilize as this could burn delicate roots leading to stunted growth or even death of the plant.

Key takeaway

When pruning oakleaf hydrangeas, timing is key. For established shrubs, it’s best to wait until after they have finished blooming in the summer before pruning them back. But for young, developing shrubs that aren’t yet flowering much, pruning in early spring can encourage vigorous growth during the upcoming season.

Benefits of growing oakleaf hydrangeas in your garden

Oakleaf hydrangeas are a great choice for any garden, offering colorful blooms and foliage interest throughout the year. These low-maintenance plants require minimal effort to keep them looking their best, making them an ideal option for busy homeowners who want a beautiful garden without having to spend too much time tending it. Plus, they attract pollinators and other beneficial insects!

Colorful blooms and foliage interest throughout the year

Oakleaf hydrangeas produce large clusters of white or pink flowers in late spring that can last through summer. The leaves turn shades of red, orange, purple, or yellow in autumn before dropping off in winter. This means you’ll have something interesting to look at all year round!

Low-maintenance planting option for busy homeowners

Oakleaf hydrangeas are relatively easy to care for compared to other types of shrubs or trees. They don’t need regular pruning or fertilizing as some plants do; just make sure they get enough water during dry spells and mulch around the base of the plant every few years if needed.

Beneficial creature habitat

Oakleaf hydrangeas not only add beauty to your landscape with their colorful blooms, but they also provide food sources for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. These insects help control pests naturally and promote healthy gardens. By planting oakleaf hydrangeas in your garden, you can enjoy it more while helping out nature at the same time.

Troubleshooting common growth rate issues

An oakleaf hydrangea’s growth can be slowed by all sorts of pest and disease issues. The plant must divert energy away from growing as it fights off whichever pests are attacking it. For the quickest size increase, deal with pest infestations as soon as you notice them.

Identifying signs of stress or poor health

Oakleaf hydrangeas are hardy plants but can still suffer from environmental stressors such as too much sun exposure or lack of water. Symptoms may include drooping leaves, brown spots on foliage, poor flowering performance, and stunted growth. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to address the underlying cause immediately so that your plant can recover before more serious problems arise.

Dealing with pests and diseases

Insects, mites, and diseases can all affect the health of your oakleaf hydrangeas. Common pests include aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and caterpillars. To prevent infestations or reduce their severity if they occur, keep an eye out for signs of damage, such as wilting leaves or yellowing foliage.

If you spot any of these symptoms, taking action quickly is important to minimize further damage. Spraying plants with sharp streams of water, insecticidal soap, or another organic option is usually effective in controlling pest populations without harming beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

FAQs about Oakleaf Hydrangea Growth Rate

How much space does an oakleaf hydrangea need?

Most varieties require ample space to grow, as they commonly reach up to 6 feet in height and width. Plant them at least 4 feet apart from other plants or structures, with enough room for the roots to spread out without competition. If you need a smaller plant, look for the ‘Pee Wee’ oakleaf hydrangea cultivar, which grows to a mature rounded ball shape about 40 inches tall and wide.

Provide plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil for optimal growth. Water regularly during dry spells but avoid overwatering; too much water can lead to root rot or fungal diseases. With proper care, oakleaf hydrangeas will thrive in your garden!

Where is the best place to plant an oakleaf hydrangea?

Oakleaf hydrangeas prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Plant them in an area that gets at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day, preferably in the morning. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy, as this can lead to root rot.

Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the pot your plant came in. Place your oakleaf hydrangea in the hole, backfill with soil, water thoroughly, and mulch around the soil surface to help retain moisture. Don’t put mulch up against the base of the stems, as this can lead to rot.

Are oakleaf hydrangeas hard to grow?

Oakleaf hydrangeas are not particularly difficult to grow. They prefer moist, well-drained soil and partial shade in hot climates but can tolerate full sun in most areas if provided with adequate moisture. With regular watering and fertilizing, they will thrive in most garden settings.

Pruning is minimal and only necessary for shaping or removing dead wood. Oakleaf hydrangeas are also relatively low maintenance; they require little more than occasional deadheading of spent blooms and the removal of any diseased foliage. With proper care, these plants can provide years of beauty and enjoyment.

Does oak leaf hydrangea spread?

Oak leaf hydrangeas tend to grow taller and wider until they reach mature size, but they don’t tend to spread along the ground in a running habit like bamboo or an enthusiastic groundcover. Check the size of the variety you choose, as the mature size can vary substantially. For instance, ‘Pee Wee’ oakleaf hydrangeas grow to a tidy 3-4 feet tall and wide, while ‘Alice’ oakleaf hydrangeas reach more like 8-10 feet tall and wide. 

Annual pruning each summer will help control its size, but it may still need regular maintenance to keep it looking neat and tidy. Planting them in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter will ensure healthy growth for years to come.

Before you go…

What else are you going to plant around your new oakleaf hydrangea? Here are some suggestions of companion plants to plant nearby, as well as some ideas for shade trees in hot climates or smaller feature trees where these plants can be sited in full sun all day.

Oakleaf hydrangea growth rate generated pin 47087
Pinit fg en round red 32
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a Master Gardener and founder of the gardening website Home for the Harvest. She has been featured by Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Mother Earth News, and the National Garden Bureau. Mary Jane lives with her family in the Okanagan Valley.