How to Propagate Hydrangeas in 7 Easy Steps

5 Materials
1 Hour

Don't you just love hydrangeas? They are one of my favorite flowers. And in my opinion, you can never have too many of them. As part of my hydrangea series, today we are talking about how to get more plants for free.

Looking for ways to grow more hydrangeas without breaking the bank? Learn how to propagate hydrangeas and get more plants for FREE with these easy propagation methods.

Do you love hydrangeas as much as I do? Seriously, I can’t get enough of them and want to grow more.

Like A LOT more.

I’ve been thinking about ways to get more hydrangeas for free so I can tuck a few more in some of my gardens.

Do you remember when I divided my hydrangea? It was a good work out splitting it. Those roots were tough!

But there are other ways to get more hydrangeas for free that, with a little patience, are pretty easy to do.

Note: the best time to propagate hydrangeas is in spring when the plant is leafing out to late summer when the leaves are still lush and green.

How to Use the Ground Layering Technique to Propagate Hydrangeas

Supplies Needed

  • brick or stone
  • trowel


  1. Choose a hydrangea branch that is close to the ground.
  2. Remove the leaves where the branch will touch the ground when you gently bend it down.
  3. Scrape some bark off the branch in this area. Make sure at least one leaf node will be under the ground. This will help encourage root growth.
  4. Keep the branch attached to the mother plant. Do not cut it!
  5. Dig about a 2″ deep trench, lower the branch in and cover it with soil.
  6. To keep the branch from popping out of the soil, place a brick or stone on the buried area to weight it down.
  7. When roots form, cut the branch from the mother plant and pot it up or plant it in the garden.

Propagation Tips for Ground Layering

  • Occasionally water. I typically let nature take care of this but if it hasn’t rained, I’ll water.
  • To determine whether it rooted, lightly tug on branch. If you feel resistance, it has roots.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas From Root Cuttings

Supplies Needed

  • pruning shears
  • rooting hormone
  • vermiculite or sterile soil
  • container
  • plastic wrap
  • watering can


  1. Choose a branch that did not flower this season and cut a 5-6″ branch.
  2. Remove the lower leaves of the bottom two leaf nodes (where a leaf comes out of the branch). This is where most roots will grow from.
  3. Cut the largest leaves down to roughly half size.
  4. Stick finger or pencil into sterile soil or damp vermiculite to make planting hole.
  5. Dip cuttings in rooting hormone and insert into a sterile medium or damp vermiculite. Gently close the planting hole.
  6. Water well and allow to drain. Soil should be damp but not drenched.
  7. Add small stakes and cover with plastic wrap. I prefer to add the stakes before planting the root cutting but you can do it either way.

Propagation Tips for Cuttings:

  • Keep cuttings out of the sun in a bright shady spot.
  • To avoid root rot, only water when the top layer of soil or vermiculite begins to feel dry.
  • Cuttings should take about 2-3 weeks to form roots. You’ll know it is rooting if you gently tug on the cutting and feel some resistance.
  • When dipping the cuttings in rooting hormone, don’t dip it directly in the jar. Pour some rooting hormone into a small bowl and dip from there. This will help prevent the spread of disease in the jar of rooting hormone.
  • Use clean containers to plant cuttings.
  • Dampen the soil or vermiculite before starting.

I am so excited to get more hydrangeas from the plants I already have. I’ve heard heard hydrangeas can be rooted in water but I’ve not tried that way before. Have you? If so, let me know how it went!

Also, in general, these propagation methods can be used with other plants as too. It’s fun to experiment to see what propagates well and what doesn’t. Happy Planting!

For more Hydrangea tips and tricks, click here.

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