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Pruning Oakleaf Hydrangea

A woman is pruning Oakleaf Hydrangea

How to avoid loving the majesty of the oakleaf hydrangea? That’s impossible! Today, many homeowners who look for a way to upgrade the look and style of their landscape opt for planting oakleaf hydrangeas in it.

This is not a coincidence; people plant it in their gardens because this charming shrub grows very well with other companions. For that and many other reasons, this shrub is a pretty good candidate to be planted in your landscape.

To keep your landscape with oakleaf hydrangea at its prime, you must also take care of it. So, pruning oakleaf hydrangea is necessary for aesthetic reasons and to keep it healthy and robust.

In this blog post, you’ll learn all about pruning oakleaf hydrangea. In this way, you can keep your hydrangeas and, thus, your landscape looking at its best.

Understanding Oakleaf Hydrangeas

An old man analyzing his hydrangeas

Hydrangea quercifolia, commonly known as oakleaf hydrangea, is a deciduous shrub native to the southeastern United States. Oakleaf hydrangea comes in various colors, like:

  • Brilliant red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Burgundy

Oakleaf hydrangeas are long-lived shrubs; amazing as it sounds, these deciduous shrubs can live up to 50 years if given the care they need.

How to Care for an Oakleaf Hydrangea?

A good characteristic of oakleaf hydrangea is that they are strong and don’t require so much care to keep them healthy. However, if you want to keep them at their best, follow these tips:

Ensure a Well-drained Soil:

The preferred ground for oakleaf hydrangea is a well-drained and slightly acidic soil with medium moisture. Also, these deciduous shrubs prefer to be in full sun exposure or part shade.

Additionally, if you will plant a new oakleaf hydrangea, ensure to do it in the late fall or early spring so the shrub won’t get stressed by the temperatures because it is in the dormant stage.

Ensure Proper Watering!

Oakleaf hydrangea needs to be watered deeply twice or thrice a week. However, it will also depend on the climate in which you live. It means that if you live in a hot city, then you will need to water it more often.

It is essential to clarify that the tips mentioned above are just a general rule since every type of oakleaf hydrangea will have different requirements.

So, you need to familiarize yourself with the specific kind of oakleaf hydrangea you have at home to provide them with what they need.

4 Common Varieties of Oakleaf Hydrangeas:

  1. Alice: As Alice oakleaf hydrangea ages, it fades to pink and can measure up to 10 feet.
  2. Amethyst: In the fall, oakleaf hydrangea turns reddish-purple, and this shrub can measure up to 6 ft.
  3. Queen of Hearts: The Queen of Heart oakleaf flowers open in white and then age in a deep pink color. The queen of heart can live up to 10 years.
  4. Little Honey: under ideal conditions, you can expect them to live up to 30 years and grow 3 to 4 ft, which makes it an excellent option for smaller yards.

Let’s Learn How to Prune Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Pruning Oakleaf Hydrangea

Providing your oakleaf hydrangeas occasionally is important to keep them healthy and in the desired shape.

Oakleaf hydrangeas rarely need to be pruned; when it does, you must ensure it will be done correctly.

So, if the deciduous shrub has grown too large for the space it is in or needs a little shaping up, then be sure to:

1.   Do It at the Right Time:

Avoid pruning oakleaf hydrangeas during winter and early spring at all costs because you will remove the flower buds, and your oakleaf hydrangea won’t bloom. Instead, do it after they bloom, generally between June and July.

2.   Prune Just What’s Necessary:

Most of the time, the big size of oakleaf hydrangea is what people like the most. So, go easy when pruning and only do it if it is indispensable; a tree specialist will help you determine if so.

So, prune just in case your oakleaf needs to be shaped or it is growing so much for the planted space.

If you only need to remove a few dead branches, don’t go so far; you can simply clean up the plant by removing dead branches and deadheading spent blooms.

What If I Prune my Oakleaf Hydrangea Improperly?

Pruning oakleaf hydrangeas is not a task that can be done randomly. Instead, it needs to be done with high caution and by professionals because otherwise, your oakleaf hydrangeas will end up with many damages like:

Weak Structure:

When pruning oakleaf hydrangea, it is necessary to use the best tools, techniques, and safety procedures. This way, you ensure that your oakleaf hydrangea will not have a weakened structure.


One of the primary reasons to prune your hydrangeas is to shape them to enhance their beauty, but if inexperienced people do this task, they can end up looking ugly and ungraceful.

Keep Your Oakleaf Hydrangea Robust & Healthy!

Man Pruning white oakleaf hydrangea

Pruning oakleaf hydrangea is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly; there are some things you need to know before starting pruning them. Ensure to do it after they bloom (in summer) and not before (in spring) and only if required.

If you already need to prune your oakleaf hydrangea and you want to ensure that it will be adequately done without hurting your marvelous plant, then you should contact the tree specialists from Pro M Tree Services.

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