Serving your perennial, flowerbulb, fruit and vegetable plant needs since 1957.

Oakleaf Hydrangea, quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

‘Ruby Slippers’ is a compact form that matures to only 3-4’ tall and 3-5’ wide. It is noted for its large upright panicles of ruby-red flowers when mature (hence the cultivar name), mahogany red fall foliage color, and exfoliating bark. These elongated, conical flower panicles (to 9” long) of showy, mostly sterile, flowers begin to bloom in late spring. Flowers emerge white, but quickly turn pink before finally maturing to ruby red. The distinctive oak-like leaves are deeply-lobed, somewhat coarse, deep green, and grow to 5” long. They turn to attractive shades of mahogany-red in autumn. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal a rich brown inner bark which is attractive in winter. ‘Ruby Slippers’ was introduced into commerce in 2010.

This compact plant is effective as a specimen or accent for foundations or other locations near homes or patios. They are beautiful in a group or mass in shrub borders or in open woodland areas. They also make a lovely informal hedge and are good for small gardens. Hydrangeas may also be grown in large containers.

Plant Details +

Botanical Hydrangea quercifolia
Common Name Oakleaf Hydrangea
Family Hydrangeaceae (hydrangea Family)
Height 3-4'
Spacing 3-5'
Hardiness Zones 5-9
Exposure Partial shade. Hydrangeas benefit from some shade in the middle of the afternoon, especially in hotter regions.
Foliage Rich green, oakleaf-shaped
Flower White Maturing to Ruby Red
Bloomtime Summer to Early Fall

General Information +

General Characteristics: ‘Ruby Slippers’ is a cross between oakleaf hydrangea cultivars ‘Snow Queen’ and ‘Pee Wee’ and is a compact form. Easily grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Thrives in moist soils, and appreciates a summer mulch which helps retain soil moisture. Bloom occurs on old wood. Prune if needed immediately after flowering (little pruning is usually needed). Winter damaged stems may be pruned in early spring. Plants should be given a sheltered location and winter protection (e.g., mulch, burlap wrap) in USDA Zone 5, particularly when not fully established. Plants can lose significant numbers of flower buds or die to the ground in harsh winters (temperatures below -10 degrees F), thus respectively impairing or totally destroying the bloom for the coming year. Compact plant that is effective as a specimen or accent for foundations or other locations near homes or patios. Group or mass in shrub borders or in open woodland areas. Good informal hedge. Good for small gardens. Exfoliating mature branches provide interesting color and texture in winter. May be grown in large containers.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. When planting your hydrangea, the crown (where the stem meets the roots) should be placed just below ground level. Planting deeper can cause the roots to rot. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly. Once the shrub is placed in the hole, tamp the soil down around it and water.

Pests or Diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf blight and powdery mildew. Aphids and spider mites are occasional visitors.