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Ruby Slippers Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea

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Ruby Slippers Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5a-9b  Find Your Zone >  

Note: For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5a, where this Hydrangea is not reliably winter hardy, you'll be happy to know that it can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors during winter and place back outside when temperatures warm up in spring.

Special Attributes

Ruby Slippers provides the same four-season appeal and lavish flower production as it's larger growing Oakleaf Hydrangea cousins but in less than half the space. The large, elongated panicles of white flowers, which mature to ruby red, are slightly smaller on this dwarf selection however are produced in the same abundance as larger varieties. The bold, green, oak-shaped leaves turn a magnificent mahagany red color in fall. The dried flowerheads and the peeling rich brown color bark adds interest during the winter months.

Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing in a mound to only 3-4 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide, Ruby Slippers Hydrangea is an excellent selection for smaller garden spaces where larger oakleaf hydrangeas won't fit. Ruby Slippers is ideal for use as an accent or specimen, in groupings or mass plantings, or as a low, natural hedge in landscape and flowering shrub borders or home foundation plantings. Its smaller size makes it perfect for use in pots, planters and other containers of 14 inches or more in rim diameter. Right at home in the partially sunny woodland border or cottage and cut flower gardens. Also a nice addition to white color themed gardens and tropical-look gardens.

Suggested Spacing:  3' for hedge;  7' or more for space between plants

Cultural Preferences

Ruby Slippers Hydrangea is very easy to grow in most any moist but well-drained, soil with average fertility and full sun to part shade in northern zones where it will grow and shade to part shade (morning sun with afternoon shade or filtered sun) in southern zones. It prefers a soil rich in organic matter. For best flowering, we suggest 6 hours of direct sun light per day. As with so many other ornamental plants, a constantly soggy or wet soil is problematic. Highly resistant to pests and diseases.

Note:  Ruby Slippers is a Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf) species that produces its flowers from buds that formed on "old wood" (during the previous year). Oakleaf hydrangeas typically require little to no pruning. They are best left alone. That said they can be pruned to remove a stray branch or to reduce size. 

For proper pruning time and techniques on various types of Hydrangea see:  How To Prune Various Types Of Hydrangea 

Helpful Articles

Click on a link below to get helpful advice from our experts on how to plant and care for Oakleaf Hydrangeas.

Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5a-9b  Find Your Zone >  
Plant Type:  Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Height at Maturity:  3-4'
Width at Maturity: 3-5'
Growth Habit / Form:  Mounding
Flower Color:  White fading to Ruby Red
Flower Size:  Large -up to 9" inches long
Flowering Period:  Late Spring Through Summer
Flower Type:  Single in large, long clusters
Fragrant Flowers:  No
Foliage Color:  Green shades
Fragrant Foliage:  No
Berries:  NA
Berry Color:  NA
Sun Needs:  Part Shade (morning sun with afternoon shade or all day filtered sun)
Water Needs:  Average, low when established
Soil Type:  Clay (amended), Loam, Sand (amended), Silt 
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Well Drained Moist
Soil pH:  5.5 - 7.5 (Acid to Slightly Alkaline)
Maintenance / Care:  Very Low
Attracts:  Visual Attention
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Drought (when established in part shade), Heat, Humidity, Insect

Plant Long & Prosper!

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