How to Grow More Hydrangeas from Existing Plants

6 Min Read


Hydrangeas are beloved for their large, vibrant blooms and the ability to change color based on soil pH. They can add a touch of elegance to any garden, but purchasing new plants can be costly. Fortunately, hydrangeas are relatively easy to propagate from existing plants, allowing you to expand your garden at little to no cost. This article will guide you through the various methods of propagating hydrangeas, ensuring you can enjoy even more of these beautiful flowers.

Methods of Propagating Hydrangeas

1. Propagation by Cuttings

One of the most common and effective ways to propagate hydrangeas is through cuttings. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Materials Needed:

  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Potting mix
  • Small pots
  • Plastic bag or a clear plastic container


  1. Select a Cutting: Choose a healthy, non-flowering stem from the current year’s growth. The cutting should be about 4-6 inches long.
  2. Prepare the Cutting: Remove the lower leaves, leaving only a couple of sets of leaves at the top. If desired, dip the cut end into rooting hormone to encourage root development.
  3. Plant the Cutting: Insert the cutting into a pot filled with moist potting mix. Firm the soil around the base of the cutting to ensure it stands upright.
  4. Create a Humid Environment: Cover the pot with a plastic bag or place it inside a clear plastic container to maintain humidity. Ensure the cover doesn’t touch the leaves to prevent mold.
  5. Care for the Cutting: Place the pot in a bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Roots should develop in about 2-3 weeks.

2. Propagation by Layering

Layering is another effective method, particularly if you have more space and patience.


  1. Select a Low Branch: Choose a healthy, low-growing branch from the parent plant.
  2. Prepare the Branch: Gently bend the branch to the ground and make a small wound on the underside where it will touch the soil.
  3. Secure the Branch: Bury the wounded section in a shallow trench and secure it with a U-shaped wire or a rock.
  4. Encourage Rooting: Cover the buried section with soil and water regularly. Roots should develop within a few months.
  5. Transplant the New Plant: Once roots have formed, cut the new plant from the parent and transplant it to its desired location.

3. Propagation by Division

Dividing mature hydrangea plants is another method, particularly useful for older plants that need rejuvenation.


  1. Dig Up the Plant: Carefully dig up the entire hydrangea plant in early spring or fall.
  2. Divide the Root Ball: Using a sharp spade, divide the root ball into two or more sections, ensuring each section has both roots and stems.
  3. Replant the Divisions: Replant each division in a prepared hole, water thoroughly, and apply mulch to retain moisture.


Propagating hydrangeas from existing plants is a rewarding and cost-effective way to enhance your garden. Whether you choose cuttings, layering, or division, each method has its own advantages and can help you achieve a lush, blooming landscape. By following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy more of these beautiful flowers and share them with friends and family.


Q1: When is the best time to take cuttings from hydrangeas?

The best time to take cuttings is in late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing and the stems are still soft.

Q2: How long does it take for hydrangea cuttings to root?

Hydrangea cuttings typically take 2-3 weeks to develop roots. However, it can take longer depending on environmental conditions.

Q3: Can I propagate hydrangeas in water?

While some plants root well in water, hydrangeas do better when propagated in soil as it provides a more stable environment for root development.

Q4: Do I need to use rooting hormone for hydrangea cuttings?

Rooting hormone is not necessary but can increase the chances of successful rooting. It helps stimulate root growth and can speed up the process.

Q5: How often should I water hydrangea cuttings?

Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Q6: Can I propagate hydrangeas in any type of soil?

Hydrangeas prefer well-draining, fertile soil. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil provides an ideal environment for cuttings to root.

Q7: How do I know if my hydrangea cutting has rooted successfully?

Gently tug on the cutting after a few weeks. If you feel resistance, it indicates that roots have formed. Additionally, new leaf growth is a good sign of successful rooting.

By following these propagation methods and tips, you’ll be well on your way to growing more hydrangeas and enjoying their stunning blooms throughout your garden.

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