5 popular oakleaf hydrangea

Many oakleaf hydrangea varieties are a great addition to the landscape. With their beautiful foliage and vibrant flower colors, they can make even the most mundane of landscapes come alive! Whether you’re looking for something tall or short, wide or narrow, there’s sure to be a cultivar that will fit your needs.

In this article, we’ll explore five popular varieties of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia): Ruby Slippers Hydrangea, Gatsby Gal Hydrangea, Gatsby Pink Hydrangea, Snow Queen Hydrangea, and Pee Wee Hydrangea. We’ll chat about each one’s mature height and width, as well as its flower color, so that you can find the perfect match for your garden!

Read on to learn all about the most popular oakleaf hydrangea varieties!

Ruby slippers hydrangea

1. Ruby Slippers Hydrangea quercifolia

The Ruby Slippers Hydrangea is a beautiful variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring a cheerful pop of color to any garden. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 3-5 feet, with large clusters of red/pink flowers in the summer months.

Choose an area with direct sunlight in the morning and a bit of shade in the afternoon if the climate is hot. Planting should be done in early spring or in the fall. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper than the root ball itself, then backfill with soil, gently patting down around the base. Water thoroughly after planting and mulch the soil surface around the base of the shrub.

Once established, care instructions include regular watering during dry periods and annual summer pruning. Prune out dead wood first, remove inward or crossing branches, thin crowded areas, and then shape the shrub overall by cutting back long branches. Additionally, fertilize once per year using a slow-release fertilizer to ensure healthy foliage and flower bud growth throughout the season.

With proper care and maintenance, your Ruby Slippers Hydrangea Quercifolia will provide years of vibrant blooms that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages.

Oakleaf hydrangea varieties

2. Gatsby Gal Hydrangea quercifolia

The Gatsby Gal Hydrangea Quercifolia is an eye-catching variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will add a touch of glamour to your garden. With its stunning white flowers and lush foliage, it’s sure to be the star of any outdoor space. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 4-6 feet, making it perfect for smaller gardens or as part of a larger landscape design.

When planting this shrub, choose an area with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil for best results. Be sure to dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball before placing your plant into the ground. Water regularly after planting until established, then continue watering during dry spells for optimal growth and flowering potential.

3. Gatsby Pink Hydrangea quercifolia

The Gatsby Pink Hydrangea Quercifolia is a beautiful variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring joy to your garden all season long. With its mature height and width of 6-8 feet, this shrub is sure to make an impact in any outdoor space. The large clusters of pink flowers that bloom in the summer months are a sight to behold!

Gatsby Pink Hydrangea Quercifolia is a stunning addition to any garden that requires minimal maintenance but provides maximum beauty. With proper care and attention, one can enjoy these gorgeous pink blooms for years to come.

Oakleaf hydrangea white flower tip

4. Snow Queen Hydrangea quercifolia

The Snow Queen Hydrangea Quercifolia is an eye-catching variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring beauty and grace to your garden. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 4-6 feet, with large clusters of white flowers in the summer months.

Planting this shrub is relatively easy; choose an area with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil for best results. When it comes to care instructions, regular watering is essential for optimal growth when the plant is young. Pruning should be done in summer as needed to maintain shape or control size.

Despite the name ‘Snow Queen’, these plants don’t love overly cold winters. Some winter protection in Zones 5-6 can be helpful for plant health. Mulching around the base of the plant after the ground freezes can help retain moisture and protect roots from extreme temperatures during winter months (especially in Zone 5).

Overall, the Snow Queen Hydrangea Quercifolia is a great addition to any garden landscape due to its elegant look and low maintenance requirements. With proper planting and care instructions followed, beautiful blooms can be enjoyed all summer long.

Oakleaf hydrangea shrub

5. Pee Wee Hydrangea quercifolia

The Pee Wee Hydrangea Quercifolia is a lovely miniature oakleaf cultivar that fits perfectly in small spaces. This adorable variety grows to a mature size only 3-4 feet tall and wide. It forms a neatly rounded shrub with small white flower clusters. As the flowers age, they go a bit pink (like most other varieties). 

Pee Wee Hydrangea should be planted in partial shade to full sun. The shrub will flower best in full sun, but should be protected from hot afternoon sun in hot climates. Morning sun tends to be preferable to afternoon sun.

White oakleaf hydrangea variety

FAQs about oakleaf hydrangea varieties

What are the different varieties of oakleaf hydrangeas?

Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are a species of deciduous shrub native to the southeastern United States. They are popular for their large, showy white flower clusters and attractive foliage.

There are several different varieties of oakleaf hydrangeas available, including ‘Alice’, ‘Snow Queen’, ‘Pee Wee’, and ‘Ruby Slippers’. Each variety has its own unique characteristics such as flower color, leaf shape, and size. Most have white flowers that age to a pink color by mid-summer.

Oakleaf hydrangeas prefer partial shade and moist soil conditions in order to thrive. Pruning is not necessary but can be done after flowering if desired. With proper care, these beautiful plants will provide years of enjoyment with their colorful blooms!

Do oakleaf hydrangeas prefer sun or shade?

Oakleaf hydrangeas prefer partial shade to full sun. They need at least four hours of direct sunlight each day to flowerwell, but too much sun can cause the leaves to scorch and turn brown. For best results, plant oakleaf hydrangeas in an area that receives morning sun with some protection from the hot midday-afternoon rays.

In addition, these plants thrive in moist soil with good drainage and benefit from a layer of mulch around their base for insulation during cold winter months. They are not particularly drought-tolerant.

Where is the best place to plant an oakleaf hydrangea?

Oakleaf hydrangeas are best planted in a spot that receives partial to full sun and has well-draining soil. Planting in an area with too much shade can lead to reduced flowering and poor growth. The soil should be slightly acidic, so do a soil test before planting.
Adding compost or mulch can help create the ideal environment for your oakleaf hydrangea. When planting, make sure the root ball is level with the ground and water thoroughly after planting to ensure proper hydration of your new shrub.

Will oakleaf hydrangeas grow in full shade?

Oakleaf hydrangeas can grow in full shade, but they likely will not thrive and probably won’t flower very well. That said, some afternoon shade in hot climates can be helpful. They may require some protection from the sun during the hottest parts of summer as too much sun can cause leaf scorch or wilting. These plants flower best with 6+ hours of direct sunlight each daily, with morning sun being preferable to afternoon sun.

Before you go…

Need some other plants to fill in the area around your new oakleaf hydrangea? Here are some wonderful companion plants to plant around and beside this flowering shrub to add texture and winter interest to the area.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a passionate gardener and well-acclaimed authority in the world of horticulture. As a certified Master Gardener and Permaculture Garden Designer with over a decade of hands-on experience, she has honed her skills to cultivate a deeper understanding of the natural world around us. Beyond her gardening prowess, Mary Jane holds a distinct edge as a Professional Engineer, an expertise that often intertwines with her gardening methodologies, bringing a unique perspective to her readers.

She is the proud founder of the renowned gardening website, Home for the Harvest, a platform dedicated to helping fellow gardeners, both novice and experienced, find their green thumbs. Her gardening expertise hasn't gone unnoticed; she's been spotlighted as a go-to gardening expert by notable publications like Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Mother Earth News, Real Simple, and the National Garden Bureau.

Delving deep into specific fields of study within horticulture, Mary Jane has an extensive knowledge base on sustainable gardening practices (including permaculture), soil science, and selecting cultivars well-suited to home gardeners. Her passion isn't just limited to plants; she's a staunch advocate for holistic, eco-friendly gardening techniques that benefit both flora and fauna.

Currently residing in the picturesque Okanagan Valley, Mary Jane cherishes the time she spends with her family amidst nature, always exploring, learning, and growing both as a gardener and as an individual.

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