Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea
You don’t have to be a wizard to realize that Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea is a top-notch landscape plant. Part of our Added Variety program, this dynamic Hydrangea just keeps getting more beautiful as the year goes on. In summer, the 9-inch flower clusters unfurl—at first they’re frosty white, but eventually they take on deep rose-pink tones. In autumn, the emerald-green foliage becomes a rich burgundy color that lasts a long time. Use this compact, munchkin-sized accent in your foundation beds, patio plantings, woodland garden, or any of the lightly shaded areas around your home in need of a burst of color.
Oakleaf Hydrangea is a noble native plant found in the Southeast from Tennessee to Louisiana and Florida (not in Kansas). It can become a rather large plant with big, bold leaves and chunky stems, though smaller forms like Snow Queen and the even smaller Pee Wee have been introduced. Ruby Slippers was developed by researchers from the National Arboretum by crossing Snow Queen Hydrangea with Pee Wee. The result was very compact like Pee Wee but with particularly large and richly colored flower clusters. It was made available to the public in 2010 and has been a big hit.
Finding colorful plants for shady gardens can be a challenge. Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea turns shade into an advantage. Lightly shaded situations are best, allowing Ruby Slippers to develop its greatest flower power and strongest fall color, while protecting its foliage from the scorching effects of intense sunlight.
How to Grow
Give Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea a spot in the landscape where it will enjoy shade during the hottest part of the day. It will appreciate fertile soil that is rich in organic matter and well drained. Try to water it regularly in summer (weekly) if no rain falls; Ruby Slippers will tolerate somewhat dry conditions when established, but its foliage will be lusher with steady moisture. Young plants and those grown in the North may be shy about flowering. In any case, thehandsome fall foliage is always a dependable feature. Trim off the spent, papery brown flower heads or leave them up for winter interest.
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