The Q&A Archives: Propagating Hydrangeas

Question: Are hydrangeas annual or perennial? How do I propagate hydrangeas?

Answer: Hydrangea is a perennial shrub that produces blooms on new shoots that develop from the previous year's growth. You can propagate by layering or taking a semi-ripe cutting in midsummer and rooting it in moistened potting soil. To layer, bend one of the stems down to the ground, nick it slightly, anchor it to the ground, and cover it with soil. New roots should develop at the injury site. It can then be cut away from the parent plant and potted up. Or, take a cutting from a shoot that developed this spring, remove the lower leaves but leave the top leaves on, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot of moistened potting soil. Put in a protected place and water when the top of the soil dries out. When you're planting, make sure at least one leaf scar (node) is covered with soil. New roots will sprout from the node.

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