Propagate Hydrangea Cuttings {99% Success Rate!}

Propagate Hydrangea cuttings in 2 easy steps! Multiply beautiful Hydrangeas for free in 2 weeks. Start rooting plants with a FAIL PROOF propagation secret!

Here’s a super easy way to multiply your favorite Hydrangea plants for free: propagate Hydrangea cuttings! Like many garden lovers, I can’t get enough Hydrangeas because they come in so many beautiful shapes and colors!

Propagate Hydrangea cuttings in 2 easy steps! Multiply beautiful Hydrangeas for free in 2 weeks. Start rooting plants with a FAIL PROOF propagation secret!

Hydrangeas are a timeless favorite in English gardens and farmhouse country gardens. They also make great gifts for friends who love to grow flowers!

Yes we could each buy 50 varieties Hydrangea plants, or get together with some gardening friends to trade and propagate Hydrangea cuttings!

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

Hydrangea cuttings for propagation

All Hydrangea varieties from showy Hydrangea macrophylla, to dreamy Hydrangea arborescens are super easy to propagate. Our Hydrangea cuttings we propagated last summer are beginning to bloom this year already!

When is the best time to propagate Hydrangea cuttings?

beautiful white and blue Hydrangea flowers in garden: Hydrangea macrophylla, and  Hydrangea arborescens

The best time of year to take Hydrangea cuttings is from spring when the plant is leafing out, to late summer when the leaves are still lush and green.

Hydrangeas are deciduous plants, so it’s best to propagate them and give them some time to develop roots before they go dormant in winter.

Step 1: How to take Hydrangea cuttings

How to take Hydrangea cuttings

To give your Hydrangea cuttings the best chance to root, start with healthy plants free of pests such as aphids or any disease. Both blooming and non-blooming stems can be propagated easily, but I always try to find stems without flower buds first.

Helpful Tip: don’t let the Hydrangea cuttings dry out during the whole process. Work fast in a shaded area.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas from cuttings

Choose 3″ to 5″ long tender green stems, which will root more quickly and easily than woody stems. Cut just below a leaf node. The Hydrangea cuttings should each have at least 3 sets of leaf nodes – see photo above.

Trimmed all but the top two leaves ( or four leaves if the top two leaves are much smaller than average ) from the stem using a clean sharp pruner. Be very careful not to scratch or damage the main stem.

cut leaves off Hydrangea stems

If you are propagating large leaf Hydrangea varieties with leaves 3″ across or larger,  trimming the remaining two large leaves in half will reduce the stress on the cuttings to draw up water. For smaller leaf Hydrangeas, it’s ok to keep the leaves whole.

You may also love: how to propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig easily!

Grow beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig trees
Our Fiddle Leaf Fig forest all came from cuttings! πŸ™‚ How to propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig easily!

Step 2: How to propagate Hydrangea cuttings

( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. ) I have found that rooting hormone powder does speed up propagation quite a bit.

root Hydrangea plants  easily using rooting hormone powder

If you don’t use any rooting hormone, no worries, it will just take a little longer. Hydrangea cuttings are so easy to root, especially if you use the “tent” secret shown later. πŸ™‚

Put some rooting hormone powder in a dry zip-lock bag, dip the cuttings in water, shake off excess water, and put the stems inside the bags. Shake the bag till the stems are coated with rooting hormone.

plant Hydrangea cuttings in pot with soil

I usually keep the bag open for a few hours to let moisture evaporate, and close the bag with the remaining rooting hormone powder for reuse next time.

Use a stick or pencil to dip a hole in the damp potting mix, and drop each cutting in a hole. Gently push the soil to secure each cutting. Space the cuttings 1″ to 2″ apart minimum.

Hydrangea cuttings in DIY plastic bin humidity tent

As you see in the photos above, the goal is to bury at least 1 set, preferably 2 sets of nodes in the soil. Nodes and stems are where new roots will be growing out of!

There are several good rooting medium choices. to propagate Hydrangea cuttings. Seed starter soil mix or a good potting soil are both good to use.

Propagated new Hydrangea cuttings with roots

Do not use garden soil or soil mix with lots of manure or fertilizer content as too much nutrients can cause cutting to rot before they take root. A soil-less mix of 50% peat moss ( soak in in water for 30 minutes before use ) and 50% horticulture perlite also makes a great propagation mix.

My favorite propagation secret: boost success with a simple humidity tent!

Propagate Hydrangea cuttings in  clear plastic bin with lid! This acts like a humid dome / mini greenhouse.

A big 18″ tall clear plastic bin with lid! This acts like a humid dome / mini greenhouse. After planting the cuttings in moist propagation mix, all you need to do is placing the inside the bin, mist the interior gently, and close the lid.

Hydrangea cuttings growing roots

Check on the cuttings once a week. You may need to mist the interior occasionally. If you don’t have a bin, just remember to water often and keep your new hydrangea cuttings moist at all times, but never soggy. Keep the bin and / or cuttings in a bright warm place out of direct sun.

grow Hydrangeas from cuttings

After about ten days, your hydrangea cuttings will begin to form new roots. Don’t disturb them yet!  When a healthy root system forms in 4-6 weeks, you can plant them in the garden or a bigger container.

Keep the newly planted cuttings well watered for the first 2 weeks. Once they are more established, they will require less care. Hydrangeas love dappled shade and moist soil.

beautiful light pink Hydrangeas in garden

I have seen them thriving in full sun in Pacific Northwest or on the east coast. But here in dry and sunny Southern California, they do much better in bright shade with a little morning sun.

Another great colorful plant for shade is Coleus, which looks great with Hydrangeas! Here’s a guide on how to propagate and grow Coleus!

Detailed guide on how to grow healthy Coleus: sun, shade, water, and soil requirements, and how to propagate Coleus from cuttings easily in 2 ways! Plus beautiful Coleus varieties and inspirations on how to use them in a garden. - A Piece of Rainbow
A guide on how to propagate and grow Coleus!

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Showy, colorful and easy care shade plants and container gardens with vibrant foliage and flowers. 30+ designer plant lists to create gorgeous gardens with shade loving plants ! - A Piece Of Rainbow
Colorful flower planters with design plant list for each!

Now that you have a Hydrangea garden, how about painting the bubble-paint Hydrangea flowers? Super easy, no art experience required! =)

DIY bubble paint Hydrangeas | A Piece of Rainbow

May your days be filled with hydrangeas! xo

Love Gardening Ideas?

49 Comments

  1. Hello! Mid August in zone 6 (Ohio)! I have a feeling after 4-6 weeks and planting, with our winters,they won’t make it. Once I brought them in,what temperature would be ok? I don’t get much sun indoors as we have several mature trees around our home,so that’s a definite concern as well and finally how often should I water the cuttings? Great post!

    • hi Robyn! you can plant them in pots and bring them in for the first winter. bright spot without direct sun is ok. water once every 2 weeks as they will go dormant in winter. πŸ™‚

  2. I am a floral designer at a supermarket and people are constantly asking how to grow everything…we do sell Hydrangea plants but we also sell hydrangeas 3 to a package…I think I’m going to purchase a package myself to see if I can get a plant to grow using the technique you posted…thanks SO MUCH!

  3. This is my first time to do anything with a plant! I followed your instructions and have them in the plastic bin. Do they need air in there? Like holes? Thanks :).

    • hi Christy! most bins are not super airtight so they are fine. you can leave the lid loosely covered or prop it slightly. i just close the lid like normal. πŸ™‚ happy propagating!

  4. This is my first time to do anything with a plant. I followed your instructions, but I’m not clear on where I should put them while they are rooting? Outside? Inside? My house is cold inside and I don’t get much direct sunlight at all inside. I’m in Atlanta.

  5. Hey- I live in zone 8 (western Washington). If I take cuttings in may or June, when could I expect to plant them in the ground? Or should they remain in pots for a significant time? (Like till next spring).
    If they remain in pots, how do you recommend caring for them while they are dormant? Our winters are mild with occasional intense weeks of sudden extreme colds and winds.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • hi Amy! you can plant them in September, or about a month after roots have grown. πŸ™‚ in the first winter, if it gets unusually cold, just add some extra mulch to protect the young plants!

  6. You wrote to place in an 18″ clear plastic bin with top. What would that be? I got lost at that point.

    Thanks,

    Ronda

  7. Hi! Do you know if it’s possible to root cuttings from a bouquet? I love the white hydrangeas at Trader Joe’s, and thought it might be nice to propagate a new plant from those if it’s possible. Any guidance would be much appreciated! πŸ™‚

  8. Hi!
    I tried this and all the leafs turned black after just 1 week πŸ™
    Do you know why that may have happened?

    • hi! are the cuttings from healthy plants, and put in water right away after being cut? October is also a bit late in season to propagate Hydrageas because they are going dormant soon. πŸ™‚

  9. Regarding Joe’s question (August 12) and your answer to him, what do you mean when you say they will go dormant when kept indoor in winter? I too have some cuttings that are ready for planting, but since this is late in season, and this is Ottawa Canada, I need to know the best way to keep these cuttings alive for next Spring when I can plant them out in the garden. They are in small pots now and in a covered plastic bin outside (9” x 13β€œ x 12” high), same bin I used to root the cuttings. When I bring them in, early October, do I keep the pots in the covered bin, simulating a terrarium, until next Spring? This is my first time with hydrangea cuttings and I really want to still have them in the Spring. I live in Zone 3.b. Thank you for all your good advices.

    • hi terry, hydrangeas go dormant and lose all the leaves, so they will look like sticks till spring. you can keep them inside like other potted plants, not need for coverings, if they rooted already. then you can set them out in garden in spring πŸ™‚

  10. I just took about 2 dozen cuttings of mop head hydrangeas. Rooting hormone, draining cups, and they’re in their own green house bins. I am worried about them making it through the winter months. I live in southern maine but it gets very cold here. Should I bring them inside near a window come October when the temperature starts to drop?? What do you reccomend

    • hi Joe! yes I would keep they in small pots like indoor plants through the winter. they will go dormant then leaf out in spring. just don’t let the soil gets too dry or soggy. πŸ™‚

  11. I just took cuttings. If you ‘tent’ them, is that tent (box) kept outside or inside? It is August right now, and the temperature is in the 70s this week.

  12. We live in north Georgia, zone 7B. What are your thoughts on planting newly rooted stems in mid August vs. keeping them in the basement and planting in the Spring? When they go dormant, it seems their ability to recover when transplanted diminishes.

    Thanks!

    • hi Ron, you can plant them in the ground in August. i would protect them a little bit with row cover or straw on really cold days during the first winter. πŸ™‚

  13. When I wanted to propagate Hydrangeas, I cut branches and left 1 leaf. Then, I just planted each branch 3 – 4 feet apart. Did this with 13 and 12 grew successfully. My grandmother who had a green thumb taught me this method. It also works well with Turk’s Caps and Hibiscus.

    • thank you Julie! πŸ™‚ it’s definitely easier in some climates. in dry places like SoCal and Arizona, we will need to pamper those cuttings!

  14. Hi I live in Edmonton, AB Canada can I grow these here in my garden and if so how to I protect them over winter?

  15. Hi, how many years/months did it take from the stem cutting until it flourished into a mixture size bush? Thank you

  16. I want to propagate some cuttings from my garden hydrangeas using your method. Since I live in a zone 3-4 area, can I overwinter these cuttings inside to plant next Spring?

    • hi mary, yes you can keep the rooted cuttings inside for their first winter before planting them in the ground in spring. keep them watered and good luck! =)

    • It is winter here in wa…well…late fall…and I have access to some beautiful hydrangeas right now, to take cuttings from. Any chance of this working this time of year?

      • hi! it is very possible πŸ™‚ ! the only challenge is that the cuttings may go dormant throught the winter, but if they grow roots, just keep them in a warm place and watered, they should come back in spring.

  17. What a great idea for painting hydrangeas! I’m definitely giving that a try. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  18. I am pinning this post! I am growing hydrangeas for the first time ever this summer. I have two little flower heads that I am waiting to bloom any day now. I would love to grow more!

  19. Those are one of my favorite flowers. You captured their beauty so elegantly. Loved all the tips and especially the pictures.

  20. Hydrangeas are gorgeous! I’ve done a similar process with a few of the plants and flowers we have in our garden. I’ll have to see if those can handle the South Texas heat.

  21. This post was super informative! I’m a new gardener (if you could even call what i have a garden, haha), so these tips are really useful for me. Now I just have to find a friend with hydrangeas . . .

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