Skip to content

Propagate hydrangeas in summer: step by step instructions for successful propagation by cuttings.

Every amateur gardener who has a passion for flowers, at least once in his life must try to grow hydrangeas. These traditional garden plants are very popular in German gardens, thanks to their huge flowers in a variety of colors. No wonder people like to propagate their hydrangeas.

Blue hydrangea flowers in the garden tips for propagation by cuttings

There is nothing more beautiful than a long row of blooming hydrangeas , covering the garden with color. However, it can be quite expensive to buy enough plants to create this stunning image. But you don’t have to do this if you have a healthy plant and successfully propagate it. We’ll reveal how you can do that below.

When to propagate hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are deciduous shrubs, so it’s best to propagate them in the summer, giving them some time to grow roots before they go dormant in the winter. The best time to propagate is early summer, between late June and mid-July.

How do I propagate a hydrangea?

Whether you grow the gorgeous snowball hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ , the long-blooming farmer’s hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ or another variety in your garden, you can successfully propagate these beautiful plants with the right technique. Propagation via cuttings is one of the easiest and quickest methods for hydrangeas. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors, some rooting powder and a healthy plant and you’re ready to go.

Propagate hydrangeas by cuttings: 6 simple steps to success.

How to cut hydrangea cuttings tips

To give hydrangea cuttings the best chance of taking root, start with healthy mother plants that are free of diseases and pests like aphids. Both flowering and non-flowering shoots can be propagated, but shoots without flower buds are always recommended as cuttings when propagating hydrangeas.

Note: This propagation method works for all hydrangea species and varieties. With the right know-how and a little patience, you can easily create an entire flowering hedge of hydrangeas at no additional cost!

1. prepare the ground

When propagating plants, the soil is often overlooked, but it plays a crucial role. To prevent the stems from rotting, the soil must be well-drained, but still contain enough moisture to encourage root growth.

Hydrangeas can be propagated in a good quality, well-drained potting soil or seeding soil. However, to provide the best environment for the cuttings, it is far better to mix the soil yourself. A combination of equal parts coconut fiber and sand is ideal for softwood and hardwood propagation. The coconut fiber retains moisture while the sand improves drainage.

Mix the soil thoroughly and place it in a medium pot deep enough to accommodate the cutting. Water the soil before planting to moisten it and prevent the rooting powder from washing out later.

2. cut a suitable shoot

When is the right time to propagate hydrangeas

Next, choose the right shoot for your cutting. It should be at least 15 cm long and have light green new growth. It is better to choose a shoot that is still green, without flower buds, and that has not flowered before. Do not choose shoots with woody growth from the previous year, as they are much less likely to form roots.

Using sharp, disinfected pruning shears, cut the selected shoot below the third pair of leaves. Try to cut the shoot at a 45° angle – this is the point where new root growth will develop.

3. trim shoots and shorten leaves.

Now you should pinch off the two leaves at the bottom of the cutting and trim the shoot above the middle pair of leaves so that the cutting starts and ends with a leaf node each time. To avoid damaging the nodes, trim the leaves with pruning shears rather than plucking them off.

Shorten the remaining leaves by cutting them horizontally in the middle. This will put less stress on the cutting by limiting moisture absorption and allow the plant to focus on root development instead.

Note: Do not allow hydrangea cuttings to dry out throughout the process. Work quickly in a shady location.

How to propagate a hydrangea by cuttings instructions

4. prepare hydrangea cuttings

To make the cuttings take root faster, use rooting powder. Put some of the powder in a bowl first, then dip the end of the cutting into some water and then into the powder so that the exposed part is completely covered. Discard any remaining powder from the tray.

5. plant the cuttings

Take your pot filled with soil and poke a hole in the center with your finger. This will prevent the cuttings from being deprived of rooting hormone when placed in the soil. Bury the bottom half of the cutting and press the soil around it to anchor it. If the soil has been sufficiently moistened beforehand, you do not need to water after planting.

How to propagate a hydrangea by cuttings

6. cover pots with plastic wrap

Hydrangeas need warmth and high humidity to grow roots. You can create this environment around the plant by placing a clear plastic bag over the pot. This will also trap moisture and keep the soil from drying out as quickly.

Take a couple of skewers or sticks and stick them around the edge of the pot so that the height is just above the cutting. Then place a clear plastic bag around the pot and prop it up on the skewers. This will keep the plastic wrap completely away from the cutting and prevent moisture from getting on the sides onto the leaves or stem.

You can use a rubber band to secure the plastic wrap around the pot, but then it will be harder to remove later and air circulation will be restricted. Instead, place the pot in a warm spot away from wind and direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves through the plastic.

Propagate hydrangeas: Care for young plants and plant them in the garden

Hydrangeas grow from cuttings in the spring planting in the garden

Keep the soil moist by spraying it regularly and adding water if it dries out. Be careful not to overwater the cuttings as they can rot quickly.

After about 3-4 weeks, small roots should have formed. You can test this by gently pulling on the cutting – if some resistance is felt, the roots have grown. Then remove the plastic bag and place the pot in a shady but warm spot. Continue to keep the soil moist.

You can leave the cutting in the same pot or transplant it into a larger pot if needed. Keep the hydrangea young plant in the pot and store it indoors in a cool frost-free place over the winter until you can plant it in the garden next spring.