How to Root Hydrangea Plants


Originally from the Orient, Hydrangea plants flourish in many areas of the United States, especially southern landscapes. These blossoming shrubs prefer warm sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon hours. Hydrangeas produce summer flowers, and ones in shades of blue, pink and white. If you have an existing hydrangea plant, you can easily propagate additional shrubs to place in other areas of your landscape, or to share with friends and neighbors.

Step 1

Propagate your hydrangeas in early to mid-summer. Water the soil around your hydrangea plant about 18 to 24 hours before propagating. Apply enough water to dampen the top 2 to 3 inches of soil around your plant. Pull out any weeds growing in the area.

Step 2

Dig a shallow trench in the soil near your hydrangea plant. Use a small hand trowel to scrape a trench, pointing outward from your plant. Make the trench about 2 inches deep and 4 to 5 inches long.

Step 3

Bend an outer stem of the hydrangea down, into the shallow trench. Make a small wound on the underside of your stem, about 6 to 12 inches from the tip. Make this wound by scraping the outer surface of the stem with your fingernail. Scoop about 1 inch of soil over the wounded section and place a brick on top of it, holding it against the soil.

Step 4

Bend the exposed tip upwards, off the surface of the soil. Place a garden stake near the upward stem. Use a piece of soft twine to attach the upright segment to the garden stake, holding it in place.

Step 5

Apply about 1 inch of water to your propagated segment. Keep the soil around the stem slightly damp while roots form. Depending on your climate, this may require light watering every few days. Don't allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.

Step 6

Check near the base of your propagated stem for the appearance of new roots. Depending on your soil, climate and variety of hydrangea, new roots can take one to two seasons to form. Once numerous roots appear beneath the weighted section of stem, cut the stem between your new plant and the parent plant with a sharp knife, separating them.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Brick
  • Garden stake
  • Soft twine


  • Auburn University: Hydrangea
  • Texas A&M University: Propagating Plants
  • "Botanica's Gardening Encyclopedia"; Susan Page; 2001

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Hydrangeas Brighten Landscape
Keywords: root new hydrangeas, propagating hydrangea bushes, hydrangea propagation

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.