I was given some climbing hydrangea cuttings and would like to know what’s the best possible way to successfully root and plant it. My friend said she has not had any luck growing from cuttings, so she bought plants instead. Online seems to say to make a loop of the old branch and leaving a bit at the top sticking out of the soil so that it will grow in the potting soil. Leaving it in the shade for 2-3 weeks. Picture attached. Thank you again!
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. To get a root cutting from hydrangea first select a stem for cutting. It should be a softwood stem which is neither green nor woody. A stem is ready to be harvested as a cutting if it breaks with a characteristic snapping sound. The stems in your picture need the flowers and woody parts trimmed with a clean pair of secateurs. The actual cutting should be about 10 centimetres long. Cut the stem off just below a leaf node. Ensure the cutting has at least one additional set of leaves above the selected leaf node. Once the stem is cut to size, strip all but the top most set of leaves from the cutting leaving only two leaves on the cutting. Dip the end of the cutting in some water and then dip it into a rooting hormone. Rooting hormone can be found at most garden centres. Plant the cutting in a 7 cm. pot with damp potting mixture which is 60 percent perlite and 40 percent soilless mix. Then trim the remaining leaves by half to reduce water loss. Cover the pot with a plastic bag, and ensure the bag does not touch the leaves of the hydrangea cutting. The pot should be placed in a bright spot where there is no direct sunlight. Check the hydrangea cutting every few days to make sure the soil is still damp. Provide water only if the soil is dry. Check after four weeks for roots by gently pulling on the cutting. If it’s difficult to pull out, the cutting has developed roots. A cutting that comes out easily should be checked for root hairs. If there are no fine root hairs place it back in the pot and check again after two weeks. Once the cutting develops roots it can be repotted, fertilized and placed in a sunny spot. In the fall it can be planted in a sheltered spot. Finally in the spring can be transplanted in a permanent spot.
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