Grow a New Hydrangea Plant From the One You Have
It's easy to start a new hydrangea bush from one that is already established and this is my personal experience with propagating this perennial.
Buying hydrangea plants or shrubs can be expensive. If I need a special perennial for the yard I try to wait until the end of the growing season to buy them on sale, but even then they can cost a lot.
If you have the patience to start a hydrangea from one already established in your yard, you can save a bunch of money and within a year or two that plant will be the size of the ones for sale in local nurseries.
Maybe a neighbor or relative who already has established plants would offer to let you start one from theirs. I find that cuttings are a bit more difficult to do, so take many. Or go into their yard with them and look for hanging branches that are already rooted.
Propagating Hydrangeas is Easy
Start a new shrub from a low-lying branch of an existing plant.
Do you have a favorite hydrangea shrub in the yard and wish you could have another just like it? With the ground root layering technique, propagating hydrangeas is possible.
These days most people are looking for ways to save money and anyone who loves to garden knows that buying new plants can be pricey.
When it comes to gardening and beautifying your yard there are ways to propagate, or start one plant from another, that will save you money. If you are willing to do a bit of work I want to tell you how to start your own little hydrangea bush from an established plant.
(The plant in the picture is the original, established one that I used to grow another.)
Let The Branches and Stems Grow Close to the Ground.
These low-lying stems will be the beginnings of your new plants.
The low hanging branches of your hydrangea bush is where you will start the new plants.
If you check around the base of your hydrnagea shrub, you may already find stems that have rooted themselves into the mulch or dirt all on their own. Gently tug on them to see if they are attached, but don't pull them out of the soil. They can appear to be part of the bush but will be growing far enough away from the base of the plant to be on their own.
If you don't find any stems that are rooted, you can help them root by following my instructions below. If they are already rooted, all the better!
Learn More About Growing Beautiful Hydrangeas
If The Main Plant Does Not Have Rooted Low Stems
You'll have to help it along by holding down the stem with a rock or other object.
Propagate In Spring When There is New Growth on the Main Shrub
During the growing season the roots will have time to expand and get strong.
Check around the base of the plants and choose any stem that is low enough to be held down to the ground by a rock or some other heavy object. Don't make it too heavy, but just right for keeping the stem touching the ground.
If the stem you choose has a bud or flower on it, cut it off. You will want the stem to put it's energy into becoming a separate, strong plant and not into growing a bloom.
It's a good idea to do this in Spring so the stem can send out new roots all summer. Be sure to keep it watered.
Keep Checking The New Plant For Root Growth
Once the stem has grown it's own roots, cut it away from the main bush and let it grow on it's own in the same spot for couple of weeks to become more established.
If it's getting close to Fall and frosts and cold weather by this time, you will have a couple of choices. Either dig it up and plant it in it's new area or leave it over the winter to dig up the following Spring. The baby plant I dug up already had rooted on it's own so I planted it in Fall 2009. About 6 months later, in April 2010, I saw new growth beginning. (See my photos below).
April 2010 - The newly planted shrub and attached old branch that was part of the first bush.
Within a few months lots of new growth has appeared on the "baby" plant.
Growing the First Year
No Flowers The First Year
But now the new bush is going to bloom!
Don't expect much the first season it grows on it's own (photos above). It will be getting established with a good root system and the above ground look may not be too impressive. My plant had two long stalks. I add bonemeal to the soil, and fertilize lightly with fish emulsion. Make sure it has enough water but not too much. If you see it getting wilty, give it a drink. I did not cut it back at all for winter as hydrangeas don't need pruning.
The photo below is the "baby" plant with lots of blue flowers in Summer 2011. As you can see it has the same blue flowers as it's "mom", although they are smaller.
In 2011 I Had a Blooming Hydrangea Bush!
Hydrangeas are fast growing and hardy.
Propagated Hydrangea Shrub
A Beautiful New Addition To The Yard
It didn't cost me a thing
Now I have a nice size hydrangea shrub ready to bloom next to the front steps. It didn't cost me a thing, just some time spent digging and watering. Hydrangeas are hardy and this one was buried under many feet of snow all winter only to come back looking better than before.
Next year it will be even more spectacular.
This is a good way to propagate many types of plants, so always check the low hanging stems if you like the idea of expanding your gardens for free.
Hydrangeas Blue is my gardening blog.
I write about home and garden adventures in New England, and now in Florida.
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