New Free Hydrangeas – Propagating My Blushing Bride

how to propagate hydrangeas
The Blushing Bride after 2 new plants were dug

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.

rooting hydrangeas
The rock will hold the stem in place until the roots get larger and stronger.

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. Continue reading “New Free Hydrangeas – Propagating My Blushing Bride”

The Endless Summer in Spring

hydrangea leaves in spring
Spring Growth on my Endless Summer Hydrangea
It’s May and while the black flies swarm and temperatures are on a roller coaster the hydrangeas in my yard are growing new leaves. My Endless Summer plant has lots of new growth. I’ve left the bare stems just in case something pops out along them. In general, I don’t prune this plant. It’s relatively small anyway so there is no need. I am not adding any new perennials to my yard this year, other than the ones I will propagate, but this is a good time to buy and plant hydrangeas in the landscape.

I added some bonemeal around the base and will eventually add new dirt too. Right now I am busy readying my vegetable gardens for planting – hopefully this weekend. Once the fabric pot raised beds have all the dirt they need, I will add what’s left to the flowers. My Pinky Winky and Limelight hydrangeas all look fine too. In a couple months I’ll see some flowers. Can’t wait!

Mother’s Day Blues

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Or should I say, blue for Mother’s Day. It’s sunny and bright and beautiful for Mother’s Day here in New Hampshire, and I don’t have the blues, just pictures of blue flowers. There are no hydrangea flowers in the yard yet, so I’ve gone into my massive archive (haha) and pulled out a favorite photo to share.

I will be heading outdoors soon and hopefully the black flies will leave me alone. I have a mound of dirt to move around in my trusty wheelbarrow. There are seeds to plant and grow in my little greenhouse and plenty of other things awaiting my attention.
But first I have to pick up my son. Then the day will be mine.

I don’t have a Mother to celebrate so I get to celebrate my own motherhood. I’ve been a mom for nearly 37 years and I like to think that I have done a good job.
I hope that my children have learned some good things from me. Like perseverance, independence, thankfulness, and the importance of having a good work ethic. I think all my children have turned out well, and of course they are still evolving, but in general they have good hearts and are very decent people.

So Happy Mother’s day to all the moms who may come across this post today. The blue flower is for you as my wish that you will stay strong in this journey of motherhood that is really never-ending. And for the mom’s who do it all alone, you are not alone in your journey. There are many of us out there who also have to make our best attempt to “do it all”. It’s impossible, so pass on the things that can wait and take care of the things that won’t. Children grow up very fast and our job is to see that they grow up well. There are great rewards for that.

My Hydrangeas in May 2014

bare branches hydrangea
The Pinky Winky in May

It’s May and I have been getting outdoors to check on my hydrangeas and do some yard clean up. This photo of my Pinky Winky hydrangea plant was taken about a week ago, but it still looks about the same. Some leaf buds are forming along the stems, but that’s about it. The Limelight plants look about the same.

I decided to prune them in late Fall last year instead of waiting until Spring. The reason was mainly that when I left the dried flowers on the long stems of the limelight variety, the snow would weigh them down. So I pruned them for the winter and hopefully they will still bloom nicely.

My endless summer plants have larger leaves protruding up from the base of the plant and the Blushing Bride has little baby plants that are rooted. I plant to dig them up and transplant them once I have a spot for them and the weather has warmed.

All but the Pee Gee are still growing and looking good. I can’t say as much for some of my other perennials.   The rhododendrons that I was hoping would get big and beautify the yard are practically dead.  Apparently deer consider them a delicious meal and they chew off every leaf during winter. Even with netting over them, they have been devoured.  If the plants survive the summer I will try covering them with burlap next winter.  Don’t want to think about winter yet though!