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What is this To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’.

Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea, Oak Leaf Hydrangea Ruby Slippers View Larger Image


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Shipping begins in mid April based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first. Learn More…

'Ruby Slippers' Oak Leaf Hydrangea delivers oversized, cone-shaped blooms that arrive in light pink and deepen to a reddish-magenta as they age. A compact shrub, 'Ruby Slippers' is a fine choice for small spaces and planting in containers, or training into a low hedge. Its lobed, oak-like leaves change to burgundy as fall appoaches, bringing another layer of vibrant color to the landscape. (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Zones 4 - 9
Cut Flowers
Cut Flowers
Extended Blooms
Extended Blooms
Winter Interest
Winter Interest
Dried Flowers
Dried Flowers
Hedge / Screen
Hedge / Screen
Light Requirements
Half Sun / Half Shade
Half Sun / Half Shade
Full Shade
Full Shade
Mature Plant Size 36-48" tall, 48-60" wide (4-6 feet)
Bloom Time Summer to fall
Size Plant - 3.5" pot

Plant Information

36-48" tall x 48-60" wide. Beautiful and robust, ‘Ruby Slippers’ Oak Leaf Hydrangea delivers on all fronts. A low-maintenance, pest-free plant, ‘Ruby Slippers’ develops a more rounded, compact form than traditional oak leaf hydrangeas, requiring little pruning to maintain shape. Oak leaf hydrangeas bloom on last season’s growth (called old wood), so any pruning should be done after flowering. Plant as a specimen where you can enjoy four seasons of beauty: ruby blooms, distinctive, deep green foliage, mahogany fall color, and textural, exfoliating bark in winter. ‘Ruby Slippers’ also works well massed along foundations or in shaded shrub borders. Try naturalizing in the woodland garden or planting as an informal hedge. Oak leaf hydrangeas are native to the southeastern United States and prefer shady locations and well-drained soils. Provide a blanket of mulch to protect roots from winter chills and summer heat.

About Hydrangeas

Hydrangea shrubs are native to the US and Asia and produce showy flowers throughout the summer season. There are many varieties available, each showcasing differing bloom colors, flower shapes, overall heights/spreads, levels of winter hardiness, and abilities to be grown in containers.

What does "Blooms on old/new wood" mean and what does that have to do with winter?

Some hydrangeas produce buds that will turn into flowers on old wood (also called "last year's growth"), while others produce blooms on new wood (aka "this year's growth") and still others will flower on both old and new wood. This detail is especially valuable for cold-climate gardeners who may be apt to lose some of their hydrangea branches to breakage from heavy snow and ice, or who may see developing buds killed off by late spring frosts.

For these gardeners, losing old growth branches and young buds could mean missing out on hydrangea flowers the following summer. Choosing a variety that blooms on new wood (or both types of growth) is extra insurance; it means that regardless of your winter and late-spring weather, you can still count on your shrub to produce flowers come summer.

Likewise, warm-climate gardeners who choose varieties that only bloom on new wood, will have to make it a point to prune their hydrangea shrubs in order to encourage new buds to form. A simple task for sure, but one that needs to be remembered.

What does "Bloom color depends on soil type" mean?

The color of most hydrangea blooms are directly tied to the mineral make up of your soil and its overall pH. To really see bold colors, you'll have the best results when planting in containers, which will allow you to create your preferred soil conditions at planting time. Although soil pH can be changed directly in the garden bed, it often takes more than one season to see results. The color of native Smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) cannot be changed.

Acid soils (with a pH below 7) produce purple-to-blue blooms, with the brightest blue blooms resulting from the most-acidic soils. To coax your hydrangeas into producing blue blooms, you can amend your soil with sulfur, or mulch your plants with a pine and/or cedar needle mulch.

Alkaline soils (with a pH above 7) produce pink blooms. The more alakaline (or sweet) your soil is, the deeper pink your blooms will be. This can be achieved by adding lime around your planting area. It is, however, more difficult to turn hydrangea blooms pink because as a general rule, most plants struggle to be healthy in soils with a pH above 7.

Hydrangea Types

Many hydrangeas today are available in a range of heights and bloom cycles, regardless of their overall type. For example, you can find Mopheads that bloom on new growth and Panicles that are container-friendly.

Mopheads: (Hydrangea macrophylla) The most well-known (yet least cold hardy) hydrangea, Mopheads are known for their oversized blooms that come in two flower types - Lacecaps and Pom-poms. Also known as "Bigleaf" hydrangeas, the foliage on Mopheads is quite enormous and delivers a lot of greenery to the garden.

Panicle: (Hydrangea paniculata) Huge, cone-shaped blooms and excellent cold hardiness are the hallmarks of the Panicle hydrangea. Their arching branches and plentiful blooms also tolerate more sun than other varieties.

Smooth/ Snowball: (Hydrangea arborescens) Also known as "Wild" Hydrangeas, these shrubs are native to the eastern US - and while their color cannot be altered by changing soil pH, their blooms tend to turn a pale green as fall approaches.

Mountain: (Hydrangea serrata) More compact than Mopheads and presenting dainty lacecap blooms and smaller leaves, these hydrangeas are native to the mountains of Korea and Japan where they're known as 'Tea of Heaven'. They're known for a slightly weeping shape and a long season of blooms.

Oakleafs: (Hydrangea quercifolia) Native to the eastern/southeastern US, Oakleafs have deeply-lobed foliage that changes color dramatically in autumn. Very cold hardy with showy, elongated blooms.

How to Choose the Right Hydrangeas

Associated SKUs
AFL7M41 (Plant - 3.5" pot) - Out of stock.
ASL7M41 (Plant - 3.5" pot)
Common Name Oak Leaf Hydrangea Ruby Slippers
Botanical Name Hydrangea quercifolia Ruby Slippers
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
Flower Color Pink
Flower Size 9" flowers
Mature Height 36-48" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 48-60" wide (4-6 feet)
Growth Rate Medium
Bloom Time Summer to fall
Planting Depth Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.
Ships As Potted Plant
Foliage Color Green
Foliage Oak-like leaves that turn red in fall.
Native Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer
Soil Type Loamy Soil, Moist/Wet Soil
Soil Moisture Moist/Wet, Well Draining
Advantages Cut Flowers, Native, Extended Blooms, Winter Interest, Dried Flowers, Hedge / Screen
Additional Information Blooms on old growth.
Poisonous or Toxic to Animals Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
Ideal Region Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No


Shipping begins in mid April based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

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Reviewsby PowerReviews


by PowerReviews
American MeadowsRuby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

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So far, so good...


from Western Michigan

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  • Accurate Instructions
  • Hardy
  • Healthy
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors

    Comments about American Meadows Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea:

    Planted 2 of these little guys in Spring 2017 in a very shady spot under some trees to provide some structure to a native plant garden. it's October, the plants are still doing well, and have gotten noticeably bigger. I can't wait until they flower.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


    Hoping they will grow more in the 2 year.


    from Temple, Tx

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      • Small In Size

      Best Uses

        Comments about American Meadows Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea:

        These plants came to me in 4 inch pots so they started out small but I expected them to grow a lot faster than they have since they are supposed to end up 6 feet tall. Pretty disappointed so far.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)


        One tough plant!


        from Republic, Michigan

        About Me Conservative

        Verified Reviewer


        • Tough


        • None so far

        Best Uses

        • Home

        Comments about American Meadows Ruby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea:

        Planted in front of deck to attract wildlife and for showy flowers and leaves. Though I just planted it this spring, I am amazed at how well it has grown. It was buried by taller perennials, but survived without any damage from pests or mildew. I received it well packaged and very healthy! Now if it can survive our Upper Michigan winters, I will definitely be very impressed and make another rave review. Thank you American meadows!

        • Sizing:
        • Feels true to size
        • Width:
        • Feels true to width

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        Q & A

        Plant With These:

        USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

        To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

        • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
        • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

        Find Your Planting Zone:

        Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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