How to Propagate Hydrangeas from Cuttings? - Shiny Plant

How to Propagate Hydrangeas from Cuttings?

Want to grow appealing flowers in your garden, then hydrangea is a perfect match. These beauties are fairly easy to grow and need basic maintenance.

So grab your garden gloves and start planting them. You will definitely get wonderful blooms in no time.

Knowing the exact method of growing a plant saves you time and money.

Here I have explained everything about this flowering plant. How to Propagate Hydrangeas from Cuttings?

Follow this guide, I guarantee you will be able to grow wonderful hydrangea by yourself.

So let’s dive into:

What is hydrangea

Hydrangea has been one of the most popular garden plants for decades. They are considered shrubs and bloom from mid-summer to fall.

Plant them in fall or early spring to develop a well-established root system before blooming.


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You’ll find hydrangeas growing by themself once you plant them in the garden.

The plant grows rapidly with nearly 24 or more inches per year. They will become the primary reason for your garden’s beauty in no time.

Reaching up to 15 inches in height hydrangea cover the garden in just one summer season. They are perennial in hardiness zone 3 to 7. 

Related post: 25 Best Perennial Fall Flowers for the beautiful garden

Types of hydrangea

There are mainly four types of hydrangea that you can grow in the United States.

Oakleaf– This type of hydrangea grows only in zone 5 or warmer. They withstand the heat all summer.


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Bigleaf– This is the most common hydrangea that is grown by people. They grow in zone 5 through 9. If you live in this region you can easily grow them.

Bigleaf at Longwood Garden

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Panicle– they are hardy in zone 3 and mostly easily growers that grow up to 15 feet in height.

paniculata 'Tardiva' 2014

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Smooth– This type of hydrangea is an excellent choice if you live in a cold climate. Smooth hydrangea is referred to as a snowball due to its white big round bloom.


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There are popular hydrangea varieties to grow at your home for a wonderful look.

French Hydrangea- This variety is considered as traditional bigleaf hydrangea, also known as florist’s large. They are famous for their vibrant bloom.

French Hydrangea - 100 Flowers 2019/72

Mophead hydrangea– this is also a bigleaf hydrangea variety that features large and round blooms.

Mophead Hydrangea

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Lacecap hydrangea–  This variety looks delicate. They have large flowers surrounded by tiny buds that appear to look only half-bloomed.

Endless summer hydrangea- This is a unique bigleaf variety that can withstand the cold winter in zone 4.

Endless Summer Hydrangea

Peegee hydrangea– this variety looks like a tree. Technically they are Grandiflora cultivar that belongs to the panicle hydrangea family.

Pee Gee Hydrangea tree

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Blue hydrangea– this variety produces blooms in only blue color due to the soil they are grown in. you will see them changing their bloom color next year.

Blue Hydrangea

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Pink hydrangea-This variety has several different types and blooms in hot pink to barely blushing.

Pink Hydrangea

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How to Propagate Hydrangeas from Cuttings

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Propagation is a natural process in which a new plant grows from a variety of sources such as seeds, stem cutting, or any other parts.

In this section, I will explain how you can grow a hydrangea plant from seeds or stem cuttings.

Firstly let’s see propagation from stem cuttings:

There are a few questions that come to mind before growing from stem cutting.

How to take stem cutting?

For the proper growth of a new plant, it is essential to have a good stem cutting to start with. Expert gardeners suggest taking a stem cutting that did not flower in the growing season.
There is more chance of growth from this stem than a flowered stem cutting or branch.

When should you take stem cutting?

The ideal time to take a stem cutting to multiply your active plant is the early morning. In the early morning, there is more moisture in the air than at any other time in the day.
You can take stem cutting anytime from the growing plant. 
Ideally from June to late August many shrubs and plants produce fresh, frim shoots that can be cut to propagate more similar plants.

Can you grow stem cutting in the water?

You can propagate a stem cutting in a water container like a jar and glass. If you take soft stem roots.
Shrubs and bleeding plants like geranium, coleus, and hydrangeas are a few plants that initially thrive in water.

How to cut a shoot?

Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to make a clean cut. Crushing and tearing the stem may damage the shoot which makes it difficult to thrive on new roots.
Before cutting clean your gardening tools with hot, soapy water to eliminate introducing any disease to the plant.

Steps to propagate a stem cutting:

1. Cut off a stem 

Select a healthy stem about 4-6 inches long that has plenty of leaves and no flowers.  

The stem should have 2-3 leaf nodes. Leaf nodes are the point from where new stems and leaves grow. 

Keep your stem cutting cool and moist until you plant them in the soil. For this place, the cut ends in the water or store the stem in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel wrapped around them.

2. Remove the leaves

Sniff off the lower half of the leaves from the shoot to have a bare stem to insert in the soil.

You can also dip the cut end in the rooting hormone. Root hormone is a synthetic form of the natural produce hormone “auxin” by plants which helps in the development of roots.

Using root hormones is totally optional, perhaps this small investment increases the chance of success of your cutting.

3. Take a pot

Take a medium-sized pot that has adequate drainage holes in the bottom. Drainage holes help to move excess water from the pot which prevents soil from getting soggy.

Put plenty of stones and pebbles in the bottom to maintain good moisture.

4. Add quality soil

Plant your stem cutting in potting mix soil. You can mix the soil with perlite, sand, or vermiculite to create moisture in the soil that helps in healthy growth.

5. Pour water

Pour water into the soil to keep it moist. Note that do not add much water.

6. Place in the light

Place the pot in a spot where it gets proper light. Do not place them in direct sun as the roots of the stem cutting have not developed yet, it might damage the growing plant.

Related post: 14 perennial plants That make your garden Beautiful

Now after discussing it’s time to know how to grow them with seeds:

Blue Hydrangea

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Step 1. Buy fresh seeds of hydrangeas. Old or dry seeds might not germinate.

Step2.  Take a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. The drainage hole helps to flow excessive water from the pot.

Step3. Fill the pot with potting mix soil. It is essential to provide all the required nutrition to the plant.

Step 4. Sow seeds in the soil. Take a pencil or with your index finger make a hole about 1-2 inches in the soil. Drop the seeds in the soil and cover them lightly with the soil.

Step 5. Spray water in the soil to make it moist. Only spray water in the soil when it looks dry.

Step 6. Place the pot in a spot where it receives light. Do not place them in direct sunlight. Instead, place them in low-light areas like a windowsill or where the sunlight doesn’t come directly.

How to care for hydrangeas

The healthy growth of any plant is only possible if you take care of it properly.

Blue Hydrangea

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This shrub is not hard to maintain but there are plenty of points to keep in mind.

Let’s discuss them one by one:


Whether you are growing plants in the pot, garden bed, or directly in the garden.

Soil plays an essential role in the thriving of any plant. All nutrients and minerals present in the quality soil help to grow plant activity.

To achieve quality soil mix organic compost, perlite, or sand. Organic compost provides nutrients and perlite or sand maintains soil moisture.


Always in the base of the plant. Watering from leaves and stems might attract fungus to the plant. 

Pour water only when you see the soil dry. Remember you have to keep the soil moist not soggy. Adding too much water to the soil might cause root rot.

Root rot is a disease in which a plant’s roots get damaged due to excessive water. This stunt can grow or sometimes kill the plant.


Hydrangeas love sunlight. Planting them in sunny spots flourishes. In the initial stage of the plant, it is beneficial to place them in the sunlight. But once they get mature, placing them in sunny spots is good.

Ideally, 6-7 hours of sunlight is good for their growth. Plant them in a place where they receive early morning sunlight and afternoon shade.

Early morning sunlight makes the plant fresh. In the afternoon sun rays are denser which might damage the flowers and leaves of the plant.

If you notice brown spots in the foliage this is due to extreme sunlight.

How to Prune and deadhead

Pruning is very important to grow and bloom every year. If you do not prune properly the plant might not bloom in the growing season. 

This is what you have to do:

Take a sharp knife or pruning shear, and cut the branch of the stem.  You have to cut the stem which has flowered in this season.

Deadhead wilt flowers. No matter what you do all flowers become wilt in the fall. Simply pluck these flowers to encourage new blooms for next year.


Different varieties require different types of fertilizer. The best way to determine whether the plant needs to feed or not is by doing a soil test.

Fertilizer should be applied for indefinite months for effective results. Varieties like Bigleaf need light fertilizers which are applied in March, May, and June.

Oakleaf and panicle need to feed in April and June. Smooth hydrangea variety fertilizes in the late winter.

How to take hydrangea cuttings 

These flower species are known for their beautiful bloom. The bloom is often used as decorative ornaments in the home. 

You can place them in corner of your dining hall in an attractive vase. Within a moment it will change the vibes of the room.

If you are growing hydrangea in your garden do not hesitate to take flower cutting. In fact, cutting flowers will encourage more flowers to grow.

  • Just take a pruning shear or sharp knife. 
  • Select the flower you want to cut. 
  • Cut at the node or branch of the stem where the flowers have bloomed.
  • Clear all the leaves from the bottom to have a straight stem cutting.
  • Put the cutting in the vase quarterly filled with water.