Garden Photos of the Oakleaf Hydrangea Plant

Updated on August 16, 2018
RTalloni profile image

RTalloni believes that real gardening is the best exercise there is.

A blooming hydrangea plant is a showstopper.
A blooming hydrangea plant is a showstopper. | Source

The Oakleaf Hydrangea Is a Sight to Behold

Blooming hydrangeas have been known to cause people to break into poetry. Discovering the oakleaf hydrangea in bloom has been known to leave them speechless for at least a few minutes. Most are full of questions about this native, old-fashioned shrub. Enjoy these bloom photos of the oakleaf from my garden and let us know in the comments below what you think of this lovely plant.

The blooms of the plant grow in a cone and are shaped like a grape cluster.
The blooms of the plant grow in a cone and are shaped like a grape cluster. | Source

The Joy of Garden Photography

I have enjoyed reading various articles on photography here on DenGarden and they helped encourage me to make use of my cameras. One afternoon’s weather and light seemed to afford a perfect opportunity to apply some of the techniques I had been reading about. Cool and cloudy after a good rain following a few hot southern days, my garden’s flowers had finally perked up. They were calling me outdoors, “Come, come, we’re beautiful today!”

Such delicate petals for this large plant!
Such delicate petals for this large plant! | Source

This Species is Native to the Southeastern United States

The oakleaf hydrangea is native to the United States, making it the only true American hydrangea. The flowers are stark white and generally turn to a pale pink in early summer. The blooms can last into the summer unless they get too hot and dry.

A beautiful, larger-than-life plant for every season.
A beautiful, larger-than-life plant for every season. | Source

The Oakleaf Hydrangea Is a Sizable Plant

I tried to get a good shot that would show the 12' x 8' size of my hydrangea, and I think I was able to capture the feel of it in the lens. The photograph above is from the top level of my front porch. I took it in order to get a comparison of the plant's leaves next to the dogwood on the left. This plant is truly larger than life, just like America's landscape!

Some of the cones are unbelievably big!
Some of the cones are unbelievably big! | Source

To me, the oak leaf’s individual flowers are very similar to the dogwood’s blooms, albeit a miniature version. Their profuse blooms literally light up the shadows they grow in.

— Author

The Plant Is Hardy and Withstands Most Conditions

This hydrangea species is an old-fashioned type meaning can withstand almost any condition except wet feet. If it sits in damp soil for even a short time, it will likely die. The upside is that it can take some drought, tolerates direct sun, and does very well in deep shade. It doesn’t always lose all of its leaves in the winter, even when we have a lot of snow, and its large leaves provide cool shade in the heat of summer. It likes to be left alone to grow into it's magnificence, but tolerates pruning well when needed.

Large leaves on the oakleaf hydrangea are very showy.
Large leaves on the oakleaf hydrangea are very showy. | Source

The cone shape of the oakleaf hydrangea’s bloom is like a grape cluster, and the foliage turns a rich grape color. My friends laugh when I call the plant a "grape leaf hydrangea."

Unique Characteristics of the Plant

Not only is my 8-year-old hydrangea large, but the leaves are also huge. They remind me of a giant fig leaf, but whoever named the species obviously thought of an oak leaf when they saw it. I think the fig leaf image in my mind also comes from the way the plant’s leaves are arranged on the stems.

Stark white blooms.
Stark white blooms. | Source

There are now a couple of varieties of oakleaf hydrangea, but I cherish this quaint friend for it makes me think of people from years gone by who enjoyed this good-natured plant.

— Author

How to Propagate the Plant

This plant is easily propagated in a couple of ways. In my opinion, this is the easiest technique:

  1. Brush out a clean spot of dirt under the plant.
  2. Set a large rock on one of the prolific lower limbs.
  3. Wait. In a season or two (definitely by the next year) a new plant will have taken root.
  4. Cut the growth from the main plant and move it to another location, or...
  5. Pot it, or give it to a neighbor so your neighborhood can enjoy more of them.

I sure wish I could share a cutting off mine with you!

A shade providing plant.
A shade providing plant. | Source

An Oakleaf Beginning to Bloom Under a Crepe Myrtle Canopy

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Day 1: Buds growing tall.Day 3: Blooms beginning to weigh more.Day 1: Budding out.Day 3: Slowly blooming.
Day 1: Buds growing tall.
Day 1: Buds growing tall. | Source
Day 3: Blooms beginning to weigh more.
Day 3: Blooms beginning to weigh more. | Source
Day 1: Budding out.
Day 1: Budding out. | Source
Day 3: Slowly blooming.
Day 3: Slowly blooming. | Source

Questions & Answers

Are You Familiar With the Oakleaf Hydrangea?

Submit a Comment

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    2 months ago from the short journey

    Cynthia:

    Your kind compliment made my day–thank you. I love writing and appreciate your encouragement. Nature does help make it easier to do the work, though, don't you think? :)

  • techygran profile image

    Cynthia 

    2 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

    Beautiful photographs accompany your information about this Oak Leaf Hydrangea. Sometimes you write poetically, something that really works well with describing the beauties of nature.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    2 months ago from the short journey

    How wonderful to find a lovely plant like that! I would enjoy seeing a photo but the surest way to identify your plant would be to take a picture with a leaf to a local nursery or extension office in your area. It sounds like you are already enjoying its flowers. Happy summer to you in your new house!

  • profile image

    Sussn Young 27 

    2 months ago

    I found a lovely bush behind my new home with small white flowers growing in clumps(like lilacs). I have a picture of Facebook and asked my friends to help me identify it. One person suggested it may be an Oak leaf hydrangea. The leaves look similar, but the flowers do not. Can I attach a picture for you?

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    5 months ago from the short journey

    Dee:

    You are welcome, and thank you for checking out this hub and letting us hear from you. It sounds like you will enjoy some lovely blooms this year. Enjoy!

  • profile image

    Dee 

    5 months ago

    I have acquired one last year and am anxiously awaiting it to bloom. It is in the shade. The one I planted in the sun died Thanks for the pictures. Didn’t know what to expect.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    6 years ago from the short journey

    Fennelseed:

    So glad to be able to introduce you to this amazing hydrangea. Wish I could share one of these with you!

    I'm taking some progressive photos of a few of this spring's blooms from one of my front windows and will be adding a new photo montage to this hub soon. Actually, I may go ahead and set it up, then add a few pictures as they bloom out.

    Thanks very much for the visit and for letting me hear from you!

  • Fennelseed profile image

    Annie Fenn 

    6 years ago from Australia

    I have never heard of an oak leaf hydrangea, probably because they are native to the US, though it surprises me that it hasn't been introduced here (Aust) as it sounds to be very hardy, tolerating conditions that traditional hydrangea would turn its toes up at!! The flowers are lovely. Thank you for this interesting hub. My votes and sharing!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    6 years ago from the short journey

    sgbrown:

    Wish I could share a plant with you--I don't have enough room for the new ones I started last spring! You would enjoy owning and taking care of the oak leaf hydrangea. They are fun to photo, as well, because birds and bugs like their shade. :)

    Thanks much for your visit and comments.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    This looks like a great shrub I would like to try. I love hydrangeas, but have not had much luck with them. I may have to try this one. Great information, voted up and interesting. Thank you for SHARING! Have a wonderful day!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    6 years ago from the short journey

    Expert Gardener:

    Thanks kindly! I appreciate your comments and your follow--glad you enjoyed this hub.

  • Expert Gardener profile image

    Expert Gardener 

    6 years ago

    Unique content with unique photos of plants. I like it. I am following you RH. Vote up!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    6 years ago from the short journey

    mirror_eyes:

    Why thank you! I hope you can enjoy a glimpse of home again sometime. :)

    So appreciate your visit and comments!

  • mirror_eyes profile image

    mirror_eyes 

    6 years ago from north Texas

    Oh, I definitely have to follow you after all these nice pics! You are making me homesick in a good way! Ty

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    They would be lovely at your resort--hope to see photos of how you use them one day. :)

    Appreciate your visit to this hub!

  • Les Trois Chenes profile image

    Les Trois Chenes 

    7 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

    Never heard of an oak leaf hydrangea but it looks wonderful. Like the flower shape. I'll be looking out for this one in the catalogues.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Their blooms are amazing, shade or sun.

    Thanks kindly for visiting and sharing your input!

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 

    7 years ago from East Coast, United States

    I saw an oak leaf hydrangea last year, out in the sun, blooming beautifully and was surprised, thinking that oak leaf hydrangeas need shade or partial shade. Thanks for clearing that up. Voted up!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Not much can compare to them, for sure. Being able to say the word hydrangea with my southern accent is one reason I garden! :)

    I can hardly believe how big some of the oak leaf hydrangea's blooms get. One is almost 2' long.

    Thanks much for stopping in!

  • Chatkath profile image

    Kathy 

    7 years ago from California

    Ah Hydrangeas, one of my absolute favorites! Not just because of the vibrant colors and varieties but because I have fun drying them and then making pretty wreaths or dried arrangements! They are so easy to work with even dried. Great hub R. on one beautiful plant! Thanks! I bet your garden is beautiful!!!!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Jo_Goldsmith11:

    So glad you enjoyed the hub and found the info helpful. You won't be sorry for adding hydrangea to your home's landscape. It is a very peaceful plant.

    Thanks bunches for visiting and commenting!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Not a euphemism at all, but thanks for telling me it could be so I can be prepared if need be. If it's not a good thing I'm glad the HPPD would be on it quick.

    Here's an address you can copy and paste for the Pinky Winky and for the St. John's Wort:

    http://www.colorchoiceplants.com/pinkywinky1.htm

    and

    http://plants.chaletnursery.com/NetPS-Engine.asp?C...

    Thanks much for coming by and leaving a note. So glad it was interesting to you!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    tebo:

    So glad you enjoyed the hub, but mostly glad that you enjoy the beauty of hydrangeas!

    Our son and family recently visited New Zealand and enjoyed it very much.

    Thank you for stopping in with your comment!

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 

    7 years ago

    I love the flowers! I looked up the meaning of the different flowers. I found some that I wanted to plant outside my home. I think it will add not just color to the outside, but a continuity that is inside our home. When we have visitors, I feel it is good to have a peaceful experience as you walk in, and then it continue when you see the conformity of the inside. I am all about keeping oneself completely centered. Awesome hub! Voted up!

  • Twilight Lawns profile image

    Twilight Lawns 

    7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

    Is Pinky Winky a euphemism? If so, the HP police will be banging on your door.

    I'm going to look for the St John's Wort. If I can't find it, could you put to URL here? Please!!!

  • tebo profile image

    tebo 

    7 years ago from New Zealand

    These hydrangeas are lovely. We don't have the oak leaf variety here in New Zealand as far as I'm aware, but they certainly are beautiful.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Susan D Tyndall:

    Thank you kindly for stopping in and sharing your input. So glad you enjoyed the hub! I posted the second one--St. John's Wort--this evening. Appreciate your interest very much!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    A.CreativeThinker:

    Pee Gees are fun because they do so well in the sun! :)

    I have a Pinky WInky that my neighbor gave me in exchange for an oak leaf hydrangea last year. I'm expecting its first blooms this summer. :()

    Thank you...so glad you enjoyed the pics. Appreciate your input!

  • Susan D Tyndall profile image

    Dianne Tyndall 

    7 years ago from Sanderson, Texas

    Very nice photo's and information, good hub voted up and beautiful! Looking forward to more in this series! ;o)

  • profile image

    A.CreativeThinker 

    7 years ago

    Hydrangeas are very beautiful. I have a Pee Gee hydrangea

    and they are quite hardy plants. Lovely pictures and

    voted it up! :)

    Regards,

    A.CreativeThinker

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Lynn S. Murphy:

    Thanks kindly. I'm enjoying learning more about taking photos and flowers are a lovely subject to photograph. Very accommodating to a novice. :)

    The old-fashioned oak leaf hydrangea are quite hardy. Here's a link to help you decide whether one will work in your area:

    http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/shru...

    Appreciate your coming by with your comment!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Twilight Lawns:

    Your name is deceptive! I would have thought that you were quite possibly a white flower aficionado because they would really shine in a twilight lawn. :)

    Thanks much for your visit as well as for your generous and kind comments.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    RM:

    That's great! :) Plants from special people are a treasure for many reasons! I should have mentioned that mine was just such a started plant about 8 years ago. I've pruned it for the last 5 years because it is right on the house, but I really want to find a spot to put one that I can "let go."

    Thanks much for stopping in with your input. Always good to hear from you. You have such a great start on HP! :)

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    TDF: Thanks kindly, both for stopping in and commenting. Isn't it amazing how unique the hydrangea is and yet how many varieties there are?

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    You are welcome, sofs. It's such a nice plant for the garden, waving at passersby with the slightest wind, holding out arms of shade to any in need of it. When my kitty is not taking advantage of its shade, the birds certainly do!

  • profile image

    Lynn S. Murphy 

    7 years ago

    Beautiful shots and flowers. I have a lot of sandy soil and lots of heat/sun. Are they a hardy plant????

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks Pamela. I'm not sure if your area is too hot for them but they do like sandy soil.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR

    RTalloni 

    7 years ago from the short journey

    nightbear:

    When they are in bloom it's a temptation to replace everything with them, isn't it? ;)

    Thanks for stopping by. Maybe we'll get to see some photos of your oak leaf hydrangea? :)

  • Twilight Lawns profile image

    Twilight Lawns 

    7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

    What a lovely hub. We don't have that one in the UK... perhaps the wetness wouldn't help. I know nothing about plants and gardens (you should see my jungle!), but your hub makes me realise that you know and love; and are not one little bit boring about your garden. Lobed it so I am marking up useful, beautiful and up... How's that?

  • RentedMule profile image

    RentedMule 

    7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

    I have one of these! If was given to us by my mother in law, and this year it is getting it's first blooms. I am so excited about how much it has grown this spring, as it was just a tiny starter when we got it. Your photos are gorgeous, great job! Voted up.

  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 

    7 years ago from United States

    Just love hydrangeas. Beautiful!

  • sofs profile image

    sofs 

    7 years ago

    Wow I have never seen or heard of this shrub before. Informative and useful hub :) Thanks for sharing!!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I was not familiar with the Oakleaf hydrangea but is absolutely beautiful. I have always liked hydrangea bushes anyway. Rated beautiful.

  • nightbear profile image

    Susan Kaul 

    7 years ago from Michiagn, USA

    Aren't they just beautiful!! I have several in my yard too.

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