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5 popular oakleaf hydrangea varieties

Oakleaf hydrangeas are absolutely marvelous, and there are quite a few top-notch cultivars to choose from. Let’s look at five of the most popular varieties: Ruby Slippers, Gatsby Gal, Gatsby Pink, Snow Queen, and Pee Wee.

Ruby slippers hydrangea

1. Ruby Slippers hydrangea

Ruby Slippers hydrangea is a beautiful variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring a cheerful pop of color to any garden. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 3-5 feet, with large clusters of red/pink flowers in summer.

Choose an area with direct sunlight in the morning and a bit of shade in the afternoon if the climate is hot. Planting should be done in early spring or in the fall. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper than the root ball itself, then backfill with soil, gently patting down around the base. Water thoroughly after planting and mulch the soil surface around the base of the shrub.

Once established, care instructions include regular watering during dry periods and annual summer pruning. Prune out dead wood first, remove inward or crossing branches, thin crowded areas, and then shape the shrub overall by cutting back long branches. Additionally, use a slow-release fertilizer once per year to ensure healthy foliage and flower bud growth throughout the season.

Oakleaf hydrangea varieties

2. Gatsby Gal hydrangea

Gatsby Gal hydrangea is an eye-catching variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will add a touch of glamour to your garden. With its stunning white flowers and lush foliage, it’s sure to be the star of any outdoor space. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 4-6 feet, making it perfect for smaller gardens or as part of a larger landscape design.

When planting this shrub, choose an area with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil for best results. Be sure to dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball before placing your plant into the ground. Water regularly after planting until established, then continue watering during dry spells for optimal growth and flowering potential.

Oakleaf hydrangea white flower tip

3. Gatsby Pink hydrangea

Gatsby Pink hydrangea is a beautiful variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring joy to your garden all season long. With its mature height and width of 6-8 feet, this shrub will impact any outdoor space. The large clusters of pink flowers that bloom in the summer months are a sight to behold.

Snow queen oakleaf hydrangea

4. Snow Queen hydrangea

Snow Queen hydrangea is an eye-catching variety of oakleaf hydrangea that will bring beauty and grace to your garden. This shrub grows to a mature height and width of 4-6 feet, with large clusters of white flowers in the summer months.

Planting this shrub is relatively easy; choose an area with full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil for best results. When it comes to care instructions, regular watering is essential for optimal growth when the plant is young. Pruning should be done in summer as needed to maintain shape or control size.

Despite the name ‘Snow Queen,’ these plants don’t love overly cold winters. Some winter protection in Zones 5-6 can be helpful for plant health. Mulching around the base of the plant after the ground freezes can help retain moisture and protect roots from extreme temperatures during winter months (especially in Zone 5).

Oakleaf hydrangea shrub

5. Pee Wee hydrangea

Pee Wee hydrangea is a lovely miniature oakleaf cultivar that fits perfectly in small spaces. This adorable variety grows to a mature size only 3-4 feet tall and wide. It forms a neatly rounded shrub with small white flower clusters. As the flowers age, they go a bit pink (like most other varieties). 

This shrub should be planted in partial shade to full sun. It will flower best in full sun but should be protected from hot afternoon sun in hot climates. Morning sun tends to be preferable to afternoon sun.

White oakleaf hydrangea variety
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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