Monday, July 22, 2013

No Fuss Hydrangea Rooting

Often times when I am driving around, I have the urge to pull the car over and take cuttings of beautiful flowers or bushes or anything that strikes my fancy. I usually don't for fear of someone running toward me, waving a shovel (or something worse) and telling me to "stay away from my begonias!"

It would happen to me.

So I've been hesitant to satisfy this craving until I saw a gorgeous hydrangea bush at the end of my street on a very vacant property. So I did the unthinkable. I made Country Bloke stop the car, grabbed the knife we keep in the car for emergencies and hacked off a couple of branches, some with flowers and some without. It must've been a helluva sight seeing me emerge from the bushes, welding a knife in one hand and holding a bunch of hydrangea cuttings with the other (like it would feed my family or something), sweaty and victorious that I managed to hack a few branches from the bush.

I know, so naughty.

So I take my bounty home only to realize I. Know. Nothing. About. Rooting. Hydrangeas!

Gotta tell you, I love the internet. And YouTube. But I still don't really get it. It all seems so complicated sometimes. Just google it and read a few articles. It's ridiculous! First of all, who has that kind of time and, secondly, I shouldn't need my own GARDNER to root a freakin' flower bush?! I wish the non-experts would get on there and just tell people a no effort way of rooting hydrangeas. 

Picture of hydrangea cuttings in living room
My work-in-progress living room with hydrangea cuttings behind the picture.
So I just said screw it! And place the clippings in a glass cup and into my beautiful brass pitcher I found for a steal at my favorite antique store and figured it would all die within the week anyways. City mother replaces said cup with a mason jar as soon as I leave the room but I digress... (-;

Fast forward about two weeks later, the hydrangea branches that had the flowers are dead, dead, dead but, strangely, the ones without the flowers, having only leaves, seem to be clinging to life despite my attempts to starve it of water. 

New growth hydrangea leaves from cuttings.
New leaves at the top.
I even notice new little blooms of leaves coming through the very top of the plant.

This encourages me to pull it out of the brass pitcher and actually look at the stems. Low and behold, we have roots! Holy cow!!

Hydrangea roots from cuttings in water
Hello Little Roots! Glad you you are here!!

Hydrangea Roots in water from cutting
Different angle of the roots.

I am so excited because I actually got the hydrangea to root and it did not require a lot of time and care. I barely watered the dang thing! Woo hoo!! In your face Martha You-Know-Who! I did it without my own private gardener and all those fancy rooting minerals! (-;

So I still have it in the jar. We did attempt to kill off my successful rooting by adding in a bunch of other hydrangea cuttings and no water but I think I caught it in time. 

I'm now nursing it back to health and I'm hoping to plant it in front of my big ole, ugly utility box that is smack-dab in the middle of my front yard. 

It's alive!!
So my advice if you want no fuss hydrangeas roots is this:

1. Find a woody stem that has a green stem growing from it WITH NO FLOWERS!! (That part is very important.)

2. Cut about 2 inches below where the green stem meets the brown stem. 

3. Take it home and cut another inch off the bottom in a diagonal cut under cool water. You want to have about an inch from the green stem to the bottom of the cutting. (See picture below.)

4. Put it in a glass jar and fill it with as much water as you can.

5. Place it in another vase or pitcher that will protect it from direct sunlight but leave it in a sunny room. I'm pretty convinced that I tricked it into thinking it was underground which is why the roots started.

No fuss Hydrangea Rooting using water and luck
See how the green shoot is coming out of the woody stem? I think that is key with no fuss rooting.
6. Have a life filled with jobs, spouses, kids, cooking, cleaning, busy schedules, and craziness.

7. Check on it a week later, maybe change the water. You be the judge.

8. When you see little roots appear, give it a day of sunshine, cheer it on and be proud of yourself that you are capable of making something grow!

Grow little buddy!! Don't mind the split rail fencing in the background.
9. Plant it either in your garden or wherever you want. I have no advice for this yet because this is next weekends project for me but I'll keep you posted!


  1. Wow, you gave Hydrangea a new life, great tips, I will try it out

    1. Thanks! Let me know how it goes. I'm a little worried about the next step...planting. I hope it works!!

  2. Great tip. Thanks for stopping by today. That wee hat took about 2 and half hours.

    1. I love your blog so I stop by all the time! And that hat would've taken me all day! Lol. Love it though.