‘Ruby Slippers’ is a compact form that matures to only 3-4’ tall and 3-5’ wide. It is noted for its large upright panicles of ruby-red flowers when mature (hence the cultivar name), mahogany red fall foliage color, and exfoliating bark. These elongated, conical flower panicles (to 9” long) of showy, mostly sterile, flowers begin to bloom in late spring. Flowers emerge white, but quickly turn pink before finally maturing to ruby red. The distinctive oak-like leaves are deeply-lobed, somewhat coarse, deep green, and grow to 5” long. They turn to attractive shades of mahogany-red in autumn. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal a rich brown inner bark which is attractive in winter. ‘Ruby Slippers’ was introduced into commerce in 2010.
This compact plant is effective as a specimen or accent for foundations or other locations near homes or patios. They are beautiful in a group or mass in shrub borders or in open woodland areas. They also make a lovely informal hedge and are good for small gardens. Hydrangeas may also be grown in large containers.