How to propagate hydrangeas
1. Cut a healthy piece of stem, about 15 – 20 cm long, making the cut below a pair of leaves.
2. Snip off the lower pair of leaves – this is the point where most of the roots will form, when the cutting is planted.
3. Remove all remaining leaves, except for the top two leaves that emerge from the tip of the stem. Cut these remaining leaves in half – this reduces the amount of water that the plant needs to transpire, while it’s busy trying to form its new roots.
4. Dip the end of the hydrangea cuttings into rooting hormone gel or powder, and insert into a small pot filled with propagating mix. About a third to a half of the cutting should be immersed into the soil mix.
5. Water the pot well and allow it to drain. Place in a protected spot, out of direct sunlight. You’ll need to keep the cutting moist at all times, but not soggy – a regular pass with a watering wand is usually sufficient.
6. Cuttings should root within a month or so, and can then be transplanted into the garden, or grown on in a larger pot.
Once you've finished propagating hydrangeas and it's time to plant, there are a few tips for hydrangea care. Hydrangeas get their name from the Greek word ‘hydra’ meaning water, so it’s no surprise they need a good drink! If you want copious blooms, feed in the growing season (warmer months) by adding rich organic matter like aged manure to the soil around the root zone. Hydrangeas thrive in partial shade and prefer sun in the morning with shade in the afternoons. They also grow well in coastal areas with sandy soils.