Plants with Oak-Like Leaves: Unique Shrubs and Trees for the Landscape

I inherited this plant when my mother died. My husband says its a schefflera and has been watering it as if it were. It is not doing well – really drooping and yellowing, leaves falling off, trunk has rotted in places. Though he might give it a drink once or twice a week, my husband is very light with the water, so it never gets too wet. Im thinking its not a schefflera and needs different treatment. Any thoughts? See photos below. Thanks.

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Oak trees are prized for their bold, lobed foliage and stately form. For gardens lacking space for full-size oaks, a variety of shrubs and smaller trees bear leaves reminiscent of oak leaves but on a more compact plant Adding these oak-leaf lookalikes lends a touch of woodland elegance and provides unique texture contrast in the landscape

Oakleaf Hydrangea

One of the most striking oak-leaf mimics is oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) This deciduous shrub grows 4-6 feet tall and wide It offers

  • Deeply lobed, oak-shaped leaves with rich fall color
  • Large panicle flowers in white or pinkish tones
  • Interesting peeling cinnamon-brown bark

Oakleaf hydrangea thrives in partial shade with moist, acidic soil. Use it as a specimen plant or massed in borders and foundations. Zones 5-9.

Chinese Fringe Flower

Also called glorybower, Chinese fringe flower (Loropetalum chinense) has leaves reminiscent of oak foliage. Added features include:

  • Oak-like leaves with burgundy undersides
  • Dramatic fringe-like flowers in spring
  • Compact mounded form 3-6 feet high and wide

For maximum flower production, site in full sun. Grows best in zones 7-10. Makes a pretty foundation or border shrub.

Japanese Kerria

Kerria japonica sports vibrant yellow spring blooms amid bright green oak-shaped leaves Plus

  • Arching stems with green stems for winter interest
  • Height and width of 4-6 feet
  • Shade tolerance but best flowering in sun

Use Japanese kerria in perennial beds, foundations, or mass plantings. Has good deer and drought resistance. Hardy in zones 4-9.

Oakleaf Ivy

Oakleaf ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) is a vigorous vining houseplant with indented oak-like leaves. Features include:

  • Lobed, violin-shaped leaves with points
  • Trailing or climbing growth habit
  • Easy care for indoor pots or hanging baskets

Provide this eye-catching houseplant with average room temperatures and bright indirect light. Water when the top inch of soil dries out.

Oakleaf Geranium

For oak-shaped foliage in the perennial garden, grow oakleaf geranium (Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’). It offers:

  • Lobed leaves heavily edged in chartreuse
  • Magenta flowers from late spring to frost
  • Sprawling habit, 18-24 inches tall

Plant in full sun to light shade. Shear back after first flush of blooms for reblooming. Hardy in zones 5-8.


Lastly, consider annual datura or jimsonweed (Datura quercifolia) for big, lobed oak-like leaves and large trumpet flowers. Just beware, all parts are poisonous. Provide full sun and well-drained soil.

Adding one of these unique oak lookalikes provides an eye-catching focal point and welcome texture contrast. Use as a specimen plant or tuck them into mixed beds, borders and foundations.

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Do oakleaf hydrangeas spread?

Typically growing 4 to 8 feet tall, this multi-stemmed shrub spreads by suckering, and has a rounded upright growth habit. Oakleaf hydrangea makes a good specimen plant, and it also works well as a foundation plant or when massed in shrub borders or open woodland gardens.

Can oakleaf hydrangea take full shade?

Will oakleaf hydrangea grow in shade? Plants can survive in shade, but do best with at least half-day sun. Too much shade can result in leggy growth, fewer blooms, poor fall color, and an increased risk for diseases such as powdery mildew.

What are the weeds with oak shaped leaves?

There is a variety of Oak-leaved Goosefoot, Chenopodium glaucum salinum, that is native to the western United States. It tends to have bluish foliage, while the lobes, teeth, and tips of its leaves are usually more narrow and pointed.

Where are oakleaf hydrangeas native to?

Oakleaf hydrangea is native to all the states in the southeastern quadrant of the United States, from North Carolina south to Florida and west to Louisiana.

What do oak leaves look like?

The leaves grow on the tree in an alternate pattern, and they’re about 6 to 12 inches long. The dark green leaves are accented with bright white veins, and they turn a golden yellow in the fall. The large rounded lobes and broad hand-shaped leaves can be easily distinguished from other species of oak. Buy Buy Oak Plant

What can you plant under an oak tree?

If you love gardening, you can choose the more complex plants that require fertilization and winter protection. However, if you don’t have time to handle these challenges, you can stick to shrubs or grasses to plant underneath your oak tree. Looking for some plants to put under your oak trees this season?

Are all oak leaves the same?

Oak trees are one of the most commonly grown ornamental trees in the garden, making them a high-demand species. However, different types of oak leaves aren’t all the same. Understanding how to identify them is helpful for home gardeners.

What do poison oak leaves look like?

Look at the leaves. Poison oak, whether it is growing as a shrub or a climbing vine, has a trifoliate leaf structure. This means that the leaves grow in sets of threes off the stem. The edges of the leaves have a wavy or scalloped appearance. As the name suggests, the leaves look a bit like oak leaves. Check the color.

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