Oakleaf hydrangea is often planted in gardens and yards to border shrubs, add textural variety to landscapes, or as a foundation plant. Parts of this shrub are poisonous, especially to animals, although it seems to attract deer. Also known as hydrangea quercifolia, it is native to the southeastern region of the United States, and many choose to plant the shrubs in their own yards. While it thrives in states like Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana, it can additionally survive in much colder and harsher climates.
When planting the hydrangea quercifolia in your garden or lawn, you should consider what environmental conditions it prefers. This plant prefers full sun or partial shade; it does not tolerate full shade very well. While it prefers soils that are rich, fertile, moist and well-drained, it will tolerate damp soil. You should mulch the plant all around the root zone, and protect young specimens during the coldest parts of the year to prevent them from dying. Once it is established, the oakleaf hydrangea is tolerant of droughts.
The growth rate of the oakleaf hydrangea is characterized as being "rapid," especially in ideal conditions. During the summer months, it will produce oak-like leaves that grow to between three and eight inches long and are dark green on top with lighter colored undersides. Its flowers reach peak bloom in early July. During the autumn season, the leaves become red or red-purple, sometimes with a bit of orange. The shrub will hold onto its leaves until the end of autumn or into early winter.