My mother, who lives in St. Catharines, Ontario (Niagara Region) would like to give me a cutting of her hydrangea to grow in my garden here in Toronto (I live in Cabbagetown). She does not know the exact name/variety of the hydrangea, but my guess is it may be a limelight or something similar since it is white/cream in colour and turns green later in the season and dries beautifully. When would be the appropriate time of year to take/transplant a cutting and are there any other factors that we should take into account. I am planning on planting it in the southwest corner of my garden (which is fenced) in a partly shady position. The soil is clay to loam and there is a large tree approximately 12 feet away in the southeast corner.
Hydrangea panticulata ‘Limelight’ can be propagated from softwood cuttings taken in the summer or from hardwood cutting taken in the winter. Softwood cuttings treated with rooting hormone will root readily in a sand:peat medium but must be carefully nurtured for until ready for planting the following year. The cuttings must be protected under a glass or plastic covering to maintain a moist atmosphere. Providing bottom heat with a heating pad promotes rooting.
Hardwood cuttings are more commonly used for propagating trees and shrubs. In autumn after the leaves have dropped cut several pieces of stem from the current years growth and trim to 10 – 30 cm (4in – 12in) with a bud at the base and a bud near the top cut. Dig a trench about the depth of your spade in an area sheltered from wind. If the soil is heavy mix in perlite or coarse sand with compost or peat moss and add a 2.5 – 5 cm (1in -2in)layer at the bottom of the trench. Place the cuttings vertically in the trench 7 – 10cm apart and fill in with amended soil so that 2/3 to 3/4 of the cuttings are covered. Tamp down with your foot and water and weed as required. Cuttings that come to the surface due to frost action should be pushed back down. You can transplant the best rooted cutting the following spring or autumn.
Panticulata hydrangeas are very hardy and of all the hydrangeas can best take a sunny location. They prefer full sun,but will thrive in a part shade location though they bloom best with at least 5 hours of sun per day. Hydreangeas like a good moist but well drained loamy soil. If your soil is heavy clay, you should amend it by adding ground pine bark. While they like a moist soil, if the soil is heavy you may have to monitor water to ensure that they do not become waterlogged as it may lead to root rot.
If you are unsure as to the variety of hydrangea you can check descriptions on the site below: