Last summer I had noticed that my ‘blushing bride’ hydrangea had low-lying branches which were taking root. I had successfully propagated a hydrangea before – started a new bush from an existing one – by digging up a rooted stem and transplanting it.
There is all kinds of info about taking and rooting leaf cuttings to begin a hydrangea plant, but the ground root layering method will give you a larger plant with a stronger root system. And you have an instant new shrub.
Click my link above to see my story about doing this in the past, or follow along here on my blog, and I’ll explain what I did this time – with pictures!
This method of gaining a new, free plant for your yard (or to give to a friend) works with the macrophylla variety of hydrangeas which tend to have branches that grow close to the ground. In my yard I grow the blue endless summer and the white blushing bride which are this type. Their flowers are rounded and the color of the flower can be changed according to the soil conditions.
Once you find those low lying branches and find one that is rooted to the dirt, tug gently to see if it’s rooted well. If it comes right up, put it back (cover it with lots of dirt) and add a weight (like a rock) to hold the root down into the soil. I leave those to dig up at a later time.
The offshoots that I dig up are well rooted and look like little hydrangea plants all on their own. It is easiest to do this in Spring before all the leaves have come out and make it difficult to see around the base of the shrub. As I searched around the base of my original plant, I found one well-rooted shoot by itself, and two that were so close together that I kept them as one plant.
Clip the stem(s) that run under the dirt from the original plant to the new one. Dig around and down under the new plant as best that you can and put it in it’s new home. It helps to know where you will put it, and get that area ready before you dig up the new one! Do you know how to plant hydrangeas?
As with all newly planted shrubs, give it plenty of water and watch it each day to make sure it’s doing well. Lots of sun will make this type of hydrangea wilt, but after watering it should bounce back.
I now have two new ‘Blushing Bride’ plants (see my pics below), and best of all they cost me nothing but a little time!
One of these new plants is blooming with three flowers in just one years time. Read this post about the new Blushing Bride plant.