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photo of US National Arboretum

Meet the Breeder

US National Arboretum
Washington, DC, USA

‘Ruby Slippers’

Hydrangea - Oakleaf

Hydrangea quercifolia

'Ruby Slippers'

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A specimen of deep red Ruby Slippers dwarf oakleaf hydrangea "} The white flowering phase of dwarf Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea A closeup of the pink red bloom of Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea
  • Native
  • Colorful
  • Shade tolerant

Lovely 'Ruby Slippers' hydrangea has white summer flowers that turn pale pink, then deep to rose, and are held upright above the foliage. Flowers may reach 9" in length. The dark green foliage turns mahogany-red in fall. The compact habit and large upright inflorescences make it well-suited to residential gardens. Developed by the US National Arboretum from a cross of 'Snow Queen' and 'Pee Wee'.

5 - 9 (-20°F/-28.9°C)
Full sun, Part sun
3 - 3.5'
3 - 3.5'
Finish Time
1 season
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Foliage Color
Liner Sizes


Best in moist, well-drained soil, but quite adaptable to any site except excessively wet ones.


Oakleaf hydrangea blooms on old wood, so it is generally best to avoid any kind of regular pruning or trimming. May be pruned selectively as needed to develop a more striking habit.


Mixed borders; woodland gardens; informal hedges and screens; foundation plantings.

Growing Tips

Oakleaf hydrangeas are perhaps the most shade-tolerant hydrangea, though blooming and fall color are best with at least some sun each day. They bloom on old wood and exhibit better bud hardiness than other old wood bloomers. These plants perform far better in the landscape than in the container/nursery environment, so don't be put off by a plant that looks less than enticing in its pot. It will redeem itself rapidly once planted in the ground.