How to Root Hydrangeas


Noted for its massive cluster of summer blooming flowers (in white, blue or pink) the hydrangea is a flowering shrub that grows well in moist soil and full or partial sun. Some hydrangea bushes will only produce sterile flowers, while other will produce both sterile and fertile flowers. The most attractive are the sterile blossoms, which cannot produce seeds. The fertile flowers are small, star shaped blossoms, typically located at the center of the flower cluster. Hydrangeas can be propagated by rooting branches that are still attached to the parent bush.

Step 1

Remove the soil and mulch from an area to the side or behind an existing hydrangea bush.

Step 2

Bend a low growing branch so that it touches the soil area you have exposed. Do this gently to avoid breaking the branch.

Step 3

Cover the section of the branch touching the ground with soil and weight the branch down with a rock or brick. There should be a 6- to 12-inch branch tip sticking out from under the rock or brick.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist for at least two weeks. That will stimulate root growth on the branch.

Step 5

After two weeks, hold the branch in place and gently lift the brick or rock to see if roots have developed. If not, replace the brick and check back in another week or so.

Step 6

One the roots have developed, cut the rooted branch from the parent tree. Use sanitized gardening shears (dipped in bleach or alcohol before use).

Step 7

Dig up the newly rooted section of the branch, carefully, and replant in a shady area. Keep moist until the plant is well established and healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Parent hydrangeas bush
  • Rock or brick
  • Gardening shears


  • "Flowering Shrubs"; James Crockett; 1972
  • Hydrangeas Brighten Landscapes
  • Hydrangea
Keywords: rooting hydrangea, propagate hydrangea, hydrangea

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.