Propagating Hydrangeas


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This method should work for most shrubs*, although some root more easily than others.  I have only used it for hydrangeas.


Three years ago we moved.  The house we had been renting had a hydrangea I loved.  I couldn’t dig it up and bring it with me, so I took some cuttings and propagated it.

Three years later, our house has a row of little hydrangeas at the top of a stone wall.  They will be blooming well this year.  But, there are a few gaps in the row which I would like to fill, and my mom loves hydrangeas and would like one like mine to add to her collection.

share (5)I’m not usually one for garden ornaments, but the kids outvoted me on the froggie rain gauge

Time to propagate some more!

I am using softwood cuttings (new growth) but you can also do this with hardwood cuttings (old growth.)

Take some cuttings from the plant. I cut right above a pair of leaves and made sure each cutting had at least one pair of leaves.  You can take one “branch” with several pairs of leaves and clip it into multiple cuttings.

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Trim off 1/2 to 2/3 of each leaf.  Stick the cutting in moist potting soil.

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Put the cuttings in an area with indirect light and wait.

Over the course of a few weeks, some of the cuttings will root.  Some of them will probably rot.  I started two cuttings in each little pot to account for the ones which don’t make it.  Some people dip the cuttings in rooting hormone before potting them.  That probably helps with survival rate.

Once the cuttings root I will re-pot them into larger pots and put them in part to full sun.  When they are large enough, I will plant them in the ground.

I took my previous batch of cuttings later in the summer (July) and overwintered the plants in pots in a well sheltered area.  They did well even with the severe winter we had, and I transplanted them in the spring.  I might overwinter these the same way.


*Note: You shouldn’t propagate patented shrubs.



3 thoughts on “Propagating Hydrangeas

  1. Great gardening tip!! I do something similar with forsythia. I just take some of the hardwood branches from pruning and stick them straight into the ground. Or I bury the whole top of the leggy branches without cutting them to fill in gaps in the bush. I end up with lovely arches within the bush. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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