Garden Photos of the Oakleaf Hydrangea Plant

Updated on May 12, 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

A blooming hydrangea could move someone to break into poetry, and discovering the oakleaf hydrangea in bloom has been known to leave people speechless. Most individuals are full of questions about this native, old-fashioned shrub. I decided to take photos of the blooms on the oakleaf in my garden. I hope you enjoy them!

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've enjoyed reading various articles on photography here on DenGarden, and I felt encouraged 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, my garden’s flowers had perked up after a few hot days. 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

The 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 turn to a pale pink in early summer. The blooms often last into the summer unless they get too 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 and 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 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.
  5. Pot it, or give it to a neighbor.

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

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

An Oakleaf Blooming 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 image
      Author

      RTalloni 8 weeks 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 8 weeks 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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 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 6 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 image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 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 6 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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 image
      Author

      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 United States

      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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