304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
What to plant with oakleaf hydrangea: Companion planting guide
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 what to plant with oakleaf hydrangea? These flowering shrubs and the plants that complement them can be a great way to add some texture and color to your garden. With the right companion plants, feature trees, and shade trees, you can create a stunning oasis that’s perfect for relaxing or entertaining friends.
Start by choosing larger permanent companion plants to plant with your oakleaf hydrangea, including shade trees for the area and hedge plants to define the space and/or evergreens for winter interest. You can also mix in smaller shrubs to add texture and fall color and low-maintenance ornamental grasses for some elegant movement among the flower clusters. Lastly, add some flowering perennials for color and to attract pollinators, and even some plants that are grown for their ornamental foliage to act as a living groundcover.
Planting with oakleaf hydrangea is easy when you know what other types of plants will work well together in the same type of soil, climate range, and sunlight exposure – plus, get ideas on how to use these elements for maximum effect! Read on to learn more about creating beautiful gardens with Hydrangea quercifolia as their centerpiece!
What to plant with oakleaf hydrangea
With oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), you can create a beautiful garden with minimal effort. Planting companion plants alongside the shrub will help it to thrive and add texture and color to your landscape.
Consider perennials such as hostas, coral bells/heucheras, or ferns for foliage interest; colorful annuals like impatiens or petunias for flowers; ornamental grasses for structure; or evergreens like boxwood if you’re looking for something more permanent. You can turn any space into an inviting outdoor oasis with a few simple steps!
When considering what to plant with oakleaf hydrangea, start with other plants that enjoy the same growing conditions. Oakleaf hydrangeas tend to grow well in areas that get partial to full sun (especially morning sun). In mild climates, the more sunlight it receives, the better it will grow and bloom. If you live in a hot climate, choose a spot with some afternoon shade to protect the plant from scorching temperatures. Also consider soil type; oakleaf hydrangeas prefer well-drained soil with a pH that is slightly acidic or neutral (pH 6.5–7).
Companion plants for oakleaf hydrangea
Many perennials are a great choice for companion plants to oakleaf hydrangea. Coneflower (Echinacea) is an easy-to-grow perennial that blooms in late summer and fall with bright pink, orange, or yellow flowers. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) is another popular option that produces daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, gold, and bronze throughout summer. Coreopsis is also a good choice as it has a long flowering season, with its golden yellow blooms lasting from early spring until frost.
Ornamental grasses can add texture and movement to your garden while providing habitat for beneficial insects like butterflies and bees. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis) grows tall with feathery plumes that sway gracefully in the breeze. Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca) has tufts of silvery blue foliage that looks beautiful when planted in masses or dotted around other perennials for contrast. Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) forms dense clumps of arching green blades, which look especially striking when backlit by the sun’s rays at dawn or dusk.
Oakleaf Hydrangeas look stunning when planted near feature trees such as Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), Dogwood Tree (Cornus florida), or Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis). For shade loving companions, consider American Beech Tree (Fagus grandifolia), White Ash Tree (Fraxinus americana), or Tulip Poplar Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).
Other shrubs and hedges suitable for Oakleaf Hydrangeas include Barberry Bush (Berberis thunbergii), Dwarf Burning Bush(Euonymus Alatus Compactus ), and Boxwood Shrub (Buxus species). With so many options available, you can find something perfect for your garden.
Feature trees for hydrangea gardens
Japanese maples are great for adding interest and color to your garden. These trees come in various shapes, sizes, and colors that will complement the bright blooms of oakleaf hydrangeas. They prefer partial shade in most climates and moist soil conditions, making them an ideal companion plant for hydrangeas. When planting a Japanese maple near your hydrangea bush, be sure to give it plenty of room to grow, so its roots don’t compete too much with those of the hydrangea.
Dogwoods are another popular feature tree that pairs well with oakleaf hydrangeas. These trees have beautiful white or pink flowers in springtime, followed by clusters of red berries in the summertime that attract birds and other wildlife into your garden. Dogwoods thrive best when planted in full sun or partial shade with moist soil conditions similar to those preferred by oakleaf hydrangeas. Planting one near your shrub will add visual interest and provide additional habitat for wildlife visitors throughout the year!
Redbud trees are small deciduous trees native to North America that produce stunning purple-pink flowers each spring before their leaves emerge from dormancy. The heart-shaped foliage is also attractive during summer months when it turns greenish-yellow before falling off again in autumn time. Redbuds require full sun exposure but can tolerate some light shade if necessary, making them an excellent companion plant for hydrangeas which prefer dappled sunlight throughout the day.
Shade trees for hydrangea gardens
Shade trees are a great way to provide the perfect amount of shade for your oakleaf hydrangeas. American beech tree (Fagus grandifolia) is an excellent choice as it grows in most parts of North America and provides dense, dark green foliage that will help keep your garden cool during hot summer days.
The white ash tree (Fraxinus americana) is another good option, with its attractive bark and bright yellow-green leaves that turn golden yellow in fall. Finally, the tulip poplar tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) offers beautiful blooms in springtime and can reach heights up to 80 feet tall!
In addition to these larger trees, you may also want to consider adding some smaller shrubs or hedges for extra protection from the sun’s rays. Barberry bush (Berberis thunbergii), dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus compactus), and boxwood shrub (Buxus) all make great companion plants for oakleaf hydrangeas as they thrive in similar soil conditions and climate ranges. Planting them around your hydrangeas will create a lush environment where both plants can flourish without competing for resources like sunlight or water.
No matter which type of shade tree or shrub you choose, proper care is essential if you want them to last through multiple seasons. Give each plant enough space so its roots have room to spread out, water regularly but not too frequently, prune away dead branches when necessary, and fertilize annually with organic compost or slow-release fertilizer pellets designed specifically for woody plants like trees and shrubs. This will help ensure healthy growth throughout the year.
FAQs about what to plant with oakleaf hydrangea
Where is the best place to plant an oakleaf hydrangea?
In mild climates, oakleaf hydrangeas prefer a spot in full sun to partial shade, with well-drained soil. They are hardy and can tolerate some drought conditions, but should be planted in afternoon shade in warmer climates. Planting them near the house or other structures is ideal as it provides protection from strong winds.
Avoid planting in low spots where cold air collects, as this could damage the plant’s foliage during winter months. Mulching around the base of the plant will help keep its roots cool and moist during hot summer days. Water regularly for best results and fertilize annually for optimal growth and blooms.
Can you plant oakleaf hydrangea under a tree?
Oakleaf hydrangeas can be planted under a tree in climates where the afternoon sun is particularly harsh. These plants do flower best with 6+ hours of direct sunlight each day, but they will still put on some flowers in partial shade. Also, consider that the roots of trees can also compete with the shallow root system of an oakleaf hydrangea for water and nutrients, making it difficult for the shrub to thrive.
How far apart to plant oakleaf hydrangea?
Most varieties of oakleaf hydrangea should be planted about 4-6 feet apart from each other. This will give the plants enough room to grow and spread out, while also allowing for adequate air circulation between them. Be sure to read the tag when planting for specific spacing instructions for the individual cultivar.
Here are the recommended spacings for several popular cultivars:
-Pee Wee: 2-3 feet
-Ruby Slippers: 4-5 feet
-Snow Queen: 5-6 feet
-Gatsby Gal: 5-6 feet
-Gatsby Pink: 6-8 feet
Before you go…
Oakleaf hydrangeas and many of their companion plants tend to thrive with an application of fertilizer in the spring and sometimes with an additional feeding right after they flower. Here’s a guide to fertilizing your hydrangeas properly.