How to Root a Cutting From a Hydrangea Bush


The hydrangea plant is a deciduous shrub with multiple woody stems that reaches a height of approximately 6 feet. The shrub produces large clusters of flowers that bloom during the summer for several months. Propagate hydrangea plants by taking softwood cuttings in early summer from sections of new plant growth that are beginning to firm and mature. Softwood cutting propagation has the benefit of producing roots quickly; however, the stems are fragile and require extra care to prevent them from drying out.

Step 1

Disinfect a sharp knife by washing it with a solution that is nine parts water and one part bleach. Let the knife dry prior to using.

Step 2

Cut a 6-inch section of current year stem growth from a non-flowering branch. Do not crush the stem while making the cut. Place the cutting in a damp paper towel so it does not dry out while making additional stem cuts.

Step 3

Fill a small growing container that has drainage holes with an even mixture of course sand and peat moss. Dampen the mixture with water.

Step 4

Cut all leaves off the bottom half of the hydrangea stem. Leave one to two leaf nodes on the top of the stem. Cut large leaves on the top half of the stem in half to conserve space and moisture during the rooting process.

Step 5

Dip the lower cut end of the hydrangea stem in rooting hormone. Plant the stem into the growing container to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Step 6

Cover the growing container with a clear plastic bag. Place stakes around the edge of the container so the bag does not touch the leaves. Set the container in a location that is warm with bright light. Do not place the cuttings in direct light; they cannot tolerate extremely high temperatures.

Step 7

Monitor the moisture level of the growing container and apply water when the top of the growing medium feels dry. Water the medium only to moisten the soil. Overwatering will promote root rot and prevent root production.

Step 8

Pull on the hydrangea cuttings after two to three weeks of growth to see if there is resistance from root production. Transplant the cuttings into individual growing containers once the hydrangea roots are a minimum of 1 inch in length.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Bleach
  • Paper towel
  • 4- to 6-inch growing container
  • Course sand
  • Peat moss
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag
  • Stakes


  • Propagation of Hydrangeas: Various Methods for Rooting Hydrangeas
  • The Home Garden: Propagating Oak Leaf Hydrangea through Cuttings
Keywords: propagate hydrangea, hydrangea stem cuttings, root hydrangea cuttings

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.