How to Root Hydrangeas: Simple Steps for Success.

Rooting hydrangeas can be done by taking cuttings and placing them in a rooting hormone, then planting them in a well-draining soil mixture. This process takes about 4-6 weeks for the cuttings to develop roots and be established enough to plant in the garden.

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular ornamental shrubs due to their large and showy flower clusters. These gorgeous shrubs are relatively easy to maintain and propagate. One of the most common methods of propagating hydrangeas is through rooting cuttings from an established plant.

Rooting hydrangeas can be a fun diy project for garden enthusiasts. Propagating a new plant from an already existing one helps ensure the genetic lineage of the original plant is preserved. In this article, we’ll discuss how to root hydrangeas successfully.

How to Root Hydrangeas: Simple Steps for Success.


Understanding Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are shrubs that produce beautiful, large blooms in a range of colors. However, before you start rooting them, you must understand the different types of hydrangeas and their growing needs.

The Types Of Hydrangeas

There are five primary types of hydrangeas, each with its unique characteristics and growing needs:

  • Bigleaf hydrangeas – these are the most common types of hydrangeas found in gardens. They have large, round flowers and prefer shade or dappled sunlight. The color of their flowers can change based on soil ph, with acidic soils leading to blue blooms and alkaline soils producing pink blooms.
  • Panicle hydrangeas – these hydrangeas have cone-shaped flower heads and can tolerate more sun than other types. They bloom in late summer and fall, with blooms turning from white to pink to brown as they age.
  • Smooth hydrangeas – these hydrangeas have round flower heads and prefer full sun or partial shade. They bloom in the summer and come in white and pink colors.
  • Mountain hydrangeas – these shrubs have small flower heads and prefer shade or dappled sunlight. They thrive in colder climates and produce pink or blue flowers depending on soil ph.
  • Oakleaf hydrangeas – these hydrangeas have cone-shaped flower heads in white or pink colors. They prefer partial shade and can tolerate drier soils compared to other types of hydrangeas.

Understanding Their Growing Needs

Every type of hydrangea has specific growing needs that you must fulfill to ensure their successful rooting. Here are some essential factors to consider:

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  • Soil ph – acidic soils produce blue blooms, while alkaline soils produce pink blooms. For blue blooms, aim for a ph level of 5.2-5.5, while for pink blooms, go for a ph level of 6.0-6.2.
  • Sunlight – most hydrangeas prefer shade or partial shade, but panicle and smooth hydrangeas can tolerate more sun. Make sure to plant them in an area with suitable sunlight levels.
  • Watering – hydrangeas need enough water, especially during the hot season, to ensure their roots stay moist.
  • Fertilization – adding fertilizers to the soil can boost your hydrangeas’ growth and color intensity. However, be careful not to over-fertilize as it can lead to weak growth and fewer blooms.

By understanding the different types of hydrangeas and their growing needs, you can successfully root and grow these lovely shrubs in your garden.

Choosing The Right Time To Root Hydrangeas

Determining The Appropriate Season

Hydrangeas are beautiful and popular flowers, and many gardeners wish to expand their hydrangea gardens by propagating new plants through rooting. One of the essential things that you should consider while propagating hydrangeas is the season in which you should start the rooting process.

Here are some critical factors to keep in mind.

Factors To Consider When Selecting The Right Season


It’s crucial to choose the right time to root hydrangeas based on the ideal temperatures needed for successful rooting. Rooting can only be successful when the temperatures are not too hot or too cold.


Hydrangeas go dormant in winter when the temperatures are cold, and the soil freezes. The correct time to root hydrangeas is when they are exiting the dormant stage because it helps in the development of new roots.

Moisture And Humidity

The ideal rooting environment for hydrangeas is one that is humid and moist. Rooting during a season with low humidity levels can lead to a failure in your rooting efforts.

Daylight Hours

In the first stages of rooting, hydrangeas require a lot of daylight hours. Therefore, choosing a season that has the highest number of daylight hours is essential for the success of your rooting process.

Availability Of Growth Hormones

The natural growth hormone, auxin, encourages root development, and it’s more abundant during specific seasons. In spring, for instance, the growth hormone is most available, making it the perfect time to propagate hydrangeas.

When propagating hydrangeas, choosing the right season can make the difference between success and failure. It’s essential to assess temperature, moisture, daylight hours, dormancy, and hormone availability to select the perfect season. With the correct season in mind, you’ll increase your chances of success in rooting hydrangeas.

Preparing For Rooting

Rooting hydrangeas might seem like an intimidating task, but with proper preparation and care, it can be a breeze. Here, we provide simple steps for successful rooting, starting with preparing for rooting.

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Selecting The Right Location

Before starting your rooting process, consider where you will grow your new hydrangeas. Choose a suitable location that meets the following conditions:

  • Partial shade: Hydrangeas grow best in partial shade, receiving four to six hours of sunlight each day.
  • Well-draining soil: Ensure your soil drains well and does not become waterlogged, as this can cause fungal growth and root rot.
  • Adequate space: Ensure the location has enough room for your hydrangea to grow and spread their roots.

Preparing The Planting Area

After selecting the right location, it’s time to prepare the planting area. Follow these steps:

  • Clear the area of any weeds or grass.
  • Add organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, to amend the soil.
  • Work the organic matter into the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

Identifying The Appropriate Tools

Having the right tools can make rooting your hydrangeas an easy experience. Below are some tools you should consider acquiring:

  • Rooting hormone: Helps hydrangea cuttings develop roots faster
  • Sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears: Used to take cuttings from the hydrangea plant
  • Pots: Used to plant the hydrangea cuttings
  • Plastic bags: Help create a humid environment for the cuttings to grow in

Rooting hydrangeas is an easy process, and preparing beforehand is crucial for the success of the plant. Choosing the right location, preparing the planting area, and identifying the necessary tools are all integral steps in ensuring your hydrangea cuttings grow healthily.

Rooting Your Hydrangeas

Taking a cutting:

The first step to rooting hydrangeas is taking the right cuttings. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for a stem that’s soft enough to bend but hard enough to support itself.
  • Choose a stem that’s approximately 6 inches long.
  • Pick a stem that doesn’t have any flowers or buds growing on it.
  • Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, just below a leaf node.

Preparing the cutting for rooting:

After you have taken the cutting, it’s time to prepare it for rooting:

  • Remove all the leaves from the lower half of the stem.
  • If there are any flowers or buds, remove them too.
  • Dip the cut stem in rooting hormone and tap off any excess.
  • Make a hole in your rooting medium with your finger or a pencil.

Rooting the cutting:

Once you’ve prepared your cutting, it’s time to plant it. Here’s how you can root your hydrangea cutting with ease:

  • Insert the cutting into the hole you made in the rooting medium.
  • Make sure the medium is moist but not soaking wet.
  • Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to create a high-humidity environment.
  • Place the pot in a warm, bright location, but out of direct sunlight.
  • Check the moisture level of the rooting medium every few days and mist the cutting as needed.
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By following these simple steps, you’ll have a rooted hydrangea cutting in no time. Good luck with your gardening endeavors!

Caring For Your Newly Rooted Hydrangeas

Rooting hydrangeas is a straightforward process that requires a little effort upfront, but the payoff is worth it in the end. After successfully rooting your hydrangeas, it’s essential to care for them properly to ensure that they continue to grow and thrive.

Here are a few simple steps to caring for your newly rooted hydrangeas.


Transplanting is a crucial step in caring for your newly rooted hydrangeas. Here are some tips to make sure the process goes smoothly:

  • Wait until your hydrangeas have established a strong root system before transplanting them.
  • Choose a location for your hydrangeas that has well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight.
  • Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball of your hydrangea plant.
  • Water your hydrangeas thoroughly after planting them in their new location.


Pruning is an essential part of caring for your newly rooted hydrangeas. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when pruning:

  • Wait until your hydrangeas have established a strong root system before pruning them.
  • Prune your hydrangeas in the early spring before new growth begins to appear.
  • Remove any dead wood or broken branches from your hydrangeas.
  • Cut back any old wood on your hydrangeas to encourage new growth.


Watering is perhaps the most critical step in caring for your newly rooted hydrangeas. Here are some tips to make sure you’re watering your hydrangeas correctly:

  • Water your newly rooted hydrangeas frequently during the first few weeks after planting them.
  • After the first few weeks, water your hydrangeas deeply once a week.
  • Make sure to water your hydrangeas in the morning or early evening to avoid evaporation.
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves and flowers of your hydrangeas, as this can lead to disease.

Caring for your newly rooted hydrangeas may seem daunting at first, but with a little effort, you can help your hydrangeas grow and thrive in their new location. Remember to transplant them carefully, prune them regularly, and water them correctly, and your hydrangeas will reward you with beautiful blooms year after year.


Rooting hydrangeas is a simple process that requires the right set of conditions and a bit of patience. Whether you’re propagating new plants for your garden or looking to expand your gardening skills, following the steps outlined in this guide is a great starting point.

Remember, proper hydration, adequate light, and regular misting are key to ensuring your cuttings take root. Additionally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different rooting hormones and propagation techniques to see what works best for you. With a little practice and a lot of dedication, you’ll be able to successfully root hydrangeas and enjoy their beautiful blooms for years to come.

Happy gardening!