Just like Grandma did
Rooting Hydrangeas in April.
You can start your own hydrangea plants in April just like Grandma did in the “Good old days.”
(I’m writing this article on April 6 in Northwest Georgia. At this time of year your hydrangea plants could look different according to how far north or south you are of Rome, Georgia.)
I am not talking about all varieties of hydrangea here. Some Hydrangea plants form their flower buds in the fall and winter. These varieties do not need to be cut this time of year because this will stop the plants from blooming. These varieties are the “big leaf varieties” such as Nikko blue or pink. They are commonly called “mopheads.” You should wait to cut on these varieties after they bloom. The big leaf mopheads look something like this picture.
Some hydrangheas form their blooms on new growth. These are referred to as the “smooth leafe hydrangeas” and include varieties such as Annabelle, Limelight, and Phantom (which is what I am using.) These varieties commonly bloom later in the year and that means that some of the tips may be safely removed in Aril and early May. The foliage looks like that in the picture below.
Since this Phantom variety is one of those that bloom on this year’s growth, I can remove some of the tips and leave some others. This way I will get a succession of flowering and as a bonus, when I cut the tips it will cause the plant stems to branch out which will mean even more flowers. So to start the propagation process, I reach in and cut a few tips. I cut them about eight inches long.:
The place where the leaves and tiny lateral buds are attached to the stem is called a “node.” I have trimmed the stem to just up under the node and I have also removed the leaves. This is where the roots will develop.
Next, I will take several of the prepared cuttings, bunch them up, and stick them in a vase of water. The vase will be placed in a cool, shady (but not dark) location. I use a clear vase because the cuttings will suck up the water and the vase will need more water ever few days.
The cuttings in the picture below have been in there for at least a coupleof weeks. If I look closely I can see that the bases of the stems have gotten larger and that they are getting ready to send out some roots. Once the roots grow out a little bit, I will pot them up with some good potting soil. At that time I will pinch the top growth bud off of the stems to encourage branching.
One more piece of information: The linguistic root of the word hydrangea is “hydra” which means “water” (hydrated, for instance).
A good article on pruning hydrangeas in January which goes into the different types of hydrangeas can be found here
Thank you for visiting John the Plant Man.