The Q&A Archives: Propagating Hydranga plant

Question: I have a beautiful hydranga plant in my back yard that has sentimental value attached to it. My daughter would like to have a cutting to plant in her back yard. Can a this been done? If yes, what would be the best and safest way to do so without putting the original plant in jeopardy.
Thank you.

Answer: There are a couple of ways to propagate your hydrangea. You can try taking tip cuttings or you can try layering. Tip cuttings usually root without problem; layering takes no skill and is almost always successful. For tip cuttings, simply cut a 5-6" length of stem from a non-flowering shoot, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place it in a container filled with moistened potting soil. Or, take the stem cutting, dip it in rooting hormone and set it in a terra cotta pot filled with perlite (found in most garden centers). Set the pot on a small saucer and keep water in the saucer. This will provide enough moisture for the cutting to root.

Or, if you can find a pliable stem than you can bend down to reach the ground, you can try a method called layering. You simply nick the bottom of the stem, keep the wound open with part of a toothpick, set the wounded area firmly on the bare soil, anchor it down (bent paperclips work well), then cover the injured area with soil. As long as the earth remains damp, the wound will develop roots. At the end of the summer you should have a newly rooted stem. Cut the stem away from the parent plant and pot it up for planting elsewhere.

Best wishes with your project!

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