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Oakleaf Hydrangeas Planting Guide

Here’s how to get the most enjoyment from the Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea you ordered from Spring Hill Nurseries®

  1. Location—Full sun to full shade. Oakleaf Hydrangeas take more sun than other Hydrangeas. Can be grown in full sun if you live in the more northern states.
  2. Planting Distance—5' apart.
  3. Soil—Does best in well-drained, moisture retentive soil, enriched with organic matter. Ruby Slippers is a Hydrangea that will also do well in dry soils! Unlike other Hydrangeas, the Oakleaf does not tolerate wet feet for a long period of time, so good drainage is essential.
  4. Bloom Time—Early summer to midsummer for 4-8 weeks. Flowers stay attractive much longer than that, however, and ultimately turn red near the end of summer.
  5. Mature Height—3½' with a bushy and mounding shape.
  6. To Plant—Dig a hole twice the size of the pot the Hydrangea came in. Carefully remove the plant from the pot. Score a vertical mark on all four sides of the root ball to encourage roots to grow out into the surrounding soil. Hold the root ball in the hole with the top of the root ball level with the surrounding soil surface, and carefully fill in around the root ball. Firm the soil around the plant with your fingers to remove any air pockets.
  7. Water thoroughly after planting.
  8. Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9


For optimum results, you can improve your soil as follows:

  1. Spade or rototill the soil to a depth of 12-15".
  2. Mix in a generous 2-4" layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost or peat moss and Spring Hill’s Advanced Formula Plant Food. Mix these in thoroughly. (If soil is already rich in garden loam and well drained, the addition of Spring Hill’s Advanced Formula Plant Food will provide the ideal conditions recommended by Spring Hill’s plant professionals for superior growth and blooming.)



You will want to make sure your Hydrangea is watered regularly whenever rainfall is less than 1" per week. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. A top dressing of shredded bark, wood chips or compost 2-4" deep will help keep the soil moist and cool during hot summer weather.


Ruby Slippers has a bushy habit and doesn’t need to be pruned the first few years. Crossing stems or stems that do not go with the desired shape of your Hydrangea can be removed in summer, but not after August. Flower buds for next year are formed after August. After about 5 years, one-third of the older stems can be removed. This will revitalize the plant.


Each spring, apply a surface dressing of Spring Hill’s Advanced Formula Plant Food to your plants, scratch into soil and water thoroughly. It will help promote growth and more vigorous blooming. Do not fertilize after August, since plants need to prepare for dormancy.

Have another question? Return to the Customer Service Help page or send an e-mail directly to Customer Service .

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