Hydrangea, Ruby Slippers
Large flower of clusters open white, before quickly transitioning to rich, deep-pink-ruby-red.
Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Full Sun, Part Sun
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.
Resistant To Adverse garden conditions, such as heat or frost, deer or rabbits, that this product can tolerate well.
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Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summerTransplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for springStart Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summerStart Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallTransplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fallStart Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hydrangea is planted as a potted plant.
Planting Potted Plants in the Garden:
- Hydrangeas may be planted in partial shade or in full sun. In the south shade is better for them. In the north full sun is better. Some varieties are more tolerant of sun than others. Select a location with soil rich in organic matter. Avoid planting too close to trees which will compete with them for moisture.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- “Deadhead”, remove spent flower heads just below the inflorescence (the cluster of flowers) to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seed development. The flowers of some varieties dry nicely on the plant.
- In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.
Hydrangeas make beautiful cut flowers and add a nice touch to borders. Many varieties are also great for containers.
Pruning is very important and will vary depending on the species of the plant:
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oak Leaf Hydrangea) bloom on last year’s wood, only prune any pruning that needs to be done is just to control height. Prune right after it is finished blooming or just remove the dead flowers.
Hydrangea macrophylla (Big Leaf Hydrangea): This species blooms on last year’s wood. Any pruning that needs to be done is just to control height. Prune right after it is finished blooming or just remove the dead flowers.
Hydrangea serrata ( Mountain Hydrangea): This blooms on last year’s wood. Prune right after it has finished blooming or just remove the dead flowers.
Hydrangea paniculata (Peegee Hydrangea): This blooms on this year’s wood. Prune in early spring before new growth starts. For the largest flowers, thin to 5-10 primary shoots. Note that the weight of the flowers can cause the branches to arch downward.
Hydrangea arborescens (Hills of Snow Hydrangea): This blooms on this year’s wood. Prune in early spring before new growth starts. Hills of Snow hydrangea may be left unpruned (except for removing dead branches). In this case it will produce many smaller clusters of flowers.