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How to Root Oak Leaf Hydrangea

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Oak leaf hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that is loosely branched and produces multiple stems with a height of 6 to 10 feet. The shrub is native to the America’s and grows best in partly shaded locations. The large clusters of flowers stay in bloom for several months as they change colors from white to pink and then rusty red. The best time to propagate an oak leaf hydrangea is in early summer. Plant the rooted cutting outdoors in late summer or early fall or place the pot in a protected area outdoors for winter.

Propagating Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Clean and sterilize cutting utensils and pots with a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach. Let dry prior to using.

Cut a 5- to 6-inch branch that did not produce flowers during the current growing season with plant clippers.

Remove all leaves from the lower two leaf nodes. There should be one or two leaf nodes remaining.

Cut the largest leaves in half vertically to remove the top portion.

Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Insert the branch in a small pot that contains damp coarse sand or sterile potting medium.

Water the pot and let drain. The medium should remain moist but not wet or soggy. Cover the cutting and pot with plastic held up by stakes so the leaves are not touched.

Place the pot in an area that has bright light but not directly in the sun.

Water the pot when the soil feels slightly dry at the top. Do not over-water as this will cause the branch and roots to rot.

Plant the rooted hydrangea in a pot containing soil if the branch was rooted in sand. Keep the soil moist and in a lighted area until the cutting is planted outdoors.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Plant clippers
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pot
  • Course sand
  • Sterile potting medium
  • Plastic covering
  • Stakes


  • Cuttings will form roots in approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Gently tug on the branch to see if there is resistance as this will indicate root growth.


  • Do not place new cutting covered in plastic in direct sunlight. The plants will become too warm and die.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.