Friday, June 17, 2016

Propagating Hydrangeas

Back in 2012 I did a little post on hydrangeas and mentioned they are easily propagated, but I didn't tell you how. It's really simple, but you must have patience! These things take time.... and did I mention patience??? 

The great thing about propagating - besides it being practically free - is that if your friend has a gorgeous hydrangea bush or if you are sentimental about having a shrub that came from a loved ones house, you can have a clone of the same shrub without digging the whole plant up.

First, I'll show you some of the gorgeous blooms from those bushes I propagated. I propagated a blue one from a cutting from my doctor's office, a white one from a cutting that I picked up off the ground in a garden center and a pink one that I can't remember where I found it.
The blooms on all the plants are so big and beautiful this year!

 This is one of the hydrangeas that I propagated and planted in the backyard. 

My calla lilies are doing well this year also and I've already had to thin them out and cut them back.

This was just the first harvest of blooms from the backyard.

I just love all the shades of color, from the soft, pale blue to the deep bluish purple.

Pinks and purple look beautiful together. 

Back to how to propagate hydrangeas................
I received three of these beauties a few years back for Mother's day and since we're moving in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd take a couple of cuttings off each one and propagate them, so I could grow them at our new place. 

Here's what you need:
A few pots, dirt,  paper plates or small rocks, something to poke holes in the paper plates and dirt.

You'll also need some rooting hormone.

The plastic containers I had in the garage had lots of holes in the bottom, which is why I needed a paper plate or rocks. Rocks would have made the container too heavy, so I opted for the paper plate.
I just cut it smaller so it would fit in the bottom.

After putting it in the bottom, I poked a few drain holes in it.

I filled it mostly with dirt from the garden, then added potting soil on the top 2 or 3 inches. Poke a 
few holes in the soil. 

Pick a tender end with a few leaves on it - pull off the lower leaves and cut the stem shorter so there's only a few leaves left.

 Dip it into the rooting horomone.

Place the stem in the rooting hormone and  pack the dirt around the stem.

Remember to keep it moist and don't let the dirt dry out. Roots should start forming in a week or so. 
I'm probably going to keep them in a shady space for several months and plant them when the weather cools off a bit, but well before the first frost. I'll probably keep them in the screened porch once we move to our new house in July.
For those of you with harsh winters, I would keep them inside in a sunny window until next Spring.

You have to be patient for these to grow. The ones I planted back in 2012 took a full 2 years to really get bushy. 4 years later, those tiny little leaves I propated are 3 and 4 feet high and wide and producing gorgeous blooms. They are bigger than the hydrangea shown above, which I received the following year for Mother's day. The ones I received as a gift were the large ones from Lowe's and the hydrangeas I propagated from leaves are a lot larger! 

Either way, if you buy them or propagate them, hydrangeas take several years to really become established, but once they do, they produce a lot of gorgeous blooms!

Last time I propagated the leaves, I put water bottles over the top to create a greenhouse effect.
You can see that post HERE.

Hope you have a great weekend!
We'll be packing and getting things ready to move because our house closes in 2 weeks.



  1. Thank you for the instructions! I do plan on doing this...hopefully sooner than later. Didn't realize you sold your home...that was quick...congrats! Looking forward to seeing pics of your new home! ;)

  2. Wow! They're beautiful! I bought a Hydrangea at Sam's 3 years ago at Easter. I put it in a pot on my patio & I've babied it with the result being 1 flower each year. I was thrilled! Then this year it has 3 blooms on it! I'm so excited!


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