Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

Hydrangea Propagation – How To Propagate Hydrangeas From Cuttings

Hydrangea is not quite common here in Bangalore. Very few people I met, have them. What is so special about this flowering plant?. Look at this beautiful flower ball. I got this from Lalbagh and was curiously waiting for it to show its color. A very special thing about Hydrangea bloom is that the color of the bloom depends on how acidic/alkaline your soil is. Isn’t that amazing?.

Its nature’s own litmus paper. If the soil is acidic, you get blue color blooms and if it is basic a pink bloom is what you get.

Propagating Hydrangea from cutttings

It needs partial shade to grow and the soil should always be moist. Never let it run dry.

They will grow into a huge bush when grown in land. They can also be successfully grown in containers/pots. They prefer moderate sunlight and will do well in partial shade.The one you see in this picture is grown in 3L pot. Hydrangeas are propagated mainly from stem cuttings.

How to Propagate Hydrangeas from Cuttings

  • Take a cutting from a stem that has a spent flower or a stem tip with a growing shoot is fine too.  Remove the bottom leaves so that there is just a pair of leaves in the stem. It should be like the one in the picture below. Next to the stem cutting is the media, in our case it was perlite. It is not a must that you should use perlite. Sand/Cocopeat  works equally well.

Propagating Hydrangea from cutttings

  • Dip the base of them stem in a Rooting hormone. They come in several forms. I used a powder.  Its a practice to make a small wound in the stem by removing the outer layer of skin in the stem. It is supposed to speedup rooting by forming callous tissues.
  • Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

    Apply Rooting hormone

  • Gently stick the stem into the pot that contains the media. Water the container and ensure there is very good drainage.
Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

  • Put the container with the stem cutting into a large transparent polythene bag and seal the bag. You don’t need to water it. Just keep the bag in a place that gets bright light but not direct sunlight. It will take 3-4 weeks for rooting. Periodically open the bag and check for insects/infections and seal it back.
Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

Cover the cutting with polysheet

After 3-4 weeks, gently pull the plant and you will feel the resistance. If you felt so , then the cutting has rooted. Slowly harden the plant by gradually exposing it the world outside. If you remove the bag suddenly , it will wilt. Hence, start with shorter durations initially and increase the duration gradually until it adapts to the environment.

You can see the root formation clearly in the pics below. This plant is ready to be potted up into a bigger container.

Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

The rooted cutting is potted up into a bigger pot where it is going to spend most of its time.

Propagating Hydrangeas from cuttings

Happy propagating!


Hydrangea Propagation – How To Propagate Hydrangeas From Cuttings
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Hydrangea Propagation – How To Propagate Hydrangeas From Cuttings
How to propagate hydrangeas from cuttings.
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59 Responses

  1. The sealing in the polythene bag for a plant cutting is new to me! Do you do this for all stem-cutting propagations?
    Enjoy your hydrangeas.. they are pretty.

  2. Dear GG,
    Very intresting piece of info. I have this plane in my home. 2-3 times I have seen the flowering buds.but it never bloomed fully. out of the full bunch hardly I could see 10 flowers. Now the plane has grown big. It’s leaves are shrinking in size from last 1 week. Can you suggest something? BTW my OKRA and knol kol have sprouted. Others (brinjal,ash guard, bitter guard and raddish are yet to sprout. It is laready 1 week over.
    thanks in advance

  3. Hi,

    Can you tell me where you have bought the rooting harmone from?
    I have been looking for it all over.

    • Hey you can get it in many garden shops in bangalore. e.g gandhinagar, new tharagupet and me ( i have a spare box) ;)..

      • Hi,
        I did find rooting hormones from last Tuesday from the recently concluded lalbaugh flower show.

        I bought two version, One liquid and other powder from two different shops.

        Yet to try that out… Which one do you think will work better.

        I also bought perlite, two compressed bricks of coco peat, Seed starting variety of coco peat and petunia from Indam seeds and petunia again(Love petunia’s) from kraft seeds. from Vasrsha, they had a shop in lalbaugh.

        I couldn’t believe they had grown such large veggies in such small clay pots. I am sure they fed them good, and must have been inorganic.

        When is your next post?

        • Good to hear that you were able to get those rooting hormone. Both liquid and powder works well. Is the powder you bought, Keradix B? The powder easily sticks to the stem cutting while you have to dip the stem for few seconds in the liquid for it to get absorbed. However, since its a hormone a very small quantity is enough.
          Working on my next post.. hopefully in the next week or so.

          • Hi,

            Yeah it was Keradix B Rooting hormone powder.
            yet to try it out.
            The liquid had the directions for use, as you mentioned, to dip the cuttings for 15 Seconds for soft wood and 30 Seconds for hard wood.

            Will it work for Rose cuttings?
            And if so, can i plant the rose cuttings in only Coco peat?

          • Yes, it works on rose cuttings as well. To propagate rose, you make sure the medium is free from fungus. It is prone to rot. You can plant cuttings only in cocopeat/sand. Provide a moisture retaining chamber for the plants to root.

  4. Very nice tutorial on propagation with cuttings. I don’t have a clue about sourcing rooting Harmone! help is appreciated.

  5. This is great stuff. There may be many expert gardeners, but the way you are helping other interested people, is awesome. I have already started experiments with watermelon in container at my balcony. These are currently 3-4 weeks old. I will share the pictures once I get the plant bit bigger.

    Can you or somebody help me to find out place in Pune, where I can find perlite/vermiculite and rooting hormone ? I would prefer it in Pimpri/Chinchwad or Aundh/Baner area. I am around 15-18 Km away from main city area of Pune.

  6. Hi GG,
    Good info..I’m looking for this hormone for the past few months..but not finding any shops in and around decided to check in gandhinagar as you said. Could you pls help me in finding the shop with landmark, contact number , timings etc….it would be too useful if you put in gmap push pin location as well 😉
    Love your blog ! Happy gardening !!

      • Somehow arranged, my colleague for promised me to get one from the same place . I’m ok with liquid at this moment to try. Due you have any clue on grafting trees ? such as lemon ? this question is open to all. I’ve got few rare variety, but want to graft with this hormone..before jump into that..would like to know any tips, tricks when i try with trees…
        Thanks for your good work,

        • You can try the liquid on the grafting joint. It hastens the callus formation( which is the stage before rooting happens) in cuttings. I haven’t done any grafting. When you say you have rare varieties, you have them as trees? or saplings?. Basically you select a scion ( favorable variety you want to preserve) and the stock(rootstock) that has good tolerance and resistance. Last time I went to DoH, there was a couple grafting away 100s of seedlings. They were doing it with so much ease that it looked like unskilled labor ( which i am sure its not). They did have a knack of doing it. I am sure you can check with DoH folks. They might help you.

  7. Hi GG,
    Please help- Red ants in the soil. They are attacking everything and with it raining on and off none of the sprays seem to work. I am not very sure about boric acid, can it be used for vegetable plants? I have not yet tried the citrus spray. there do not seem to be any pests on the plants, I checked on the underside of the leaves. Planting mint and garlic also did not work.
    I want to start cherry tomatoes, have procured a packet of Tumbler (F1 hybrid) variety. Many sites mention that it can be grown in hanging baskets, wouldn’t the plant fall out with all that weight?
    Also, when you prepare your potting mix with red soil, cocopeat and compost, you are not getting any earthworms in the soil. Why I ask is because my soil is teeming with the worms as I use a bit of garden soil also. Is this Ok?

    • Chitra, sorry for the delay. You can use boric acid (mixed with sugar) near the pot edges in little quantities. I use Laxman rekha chalk and put a circle around the pot. It helps.

      Tumbler F1 can be grown in pots and I think they will do in hanging baskets, but my only concern is, the potting media volume is so less in hanging baskets. Check out . He has grown tumbler.

      Earthworms in your soil is a good thing. I get it too. We need to keep the soil moist all the times. Its totally OK.

      • Hi GG,
        Thanks for the advice.
        I am using exactly the same chemicals for the red ants. Although the rains are washing it all off. I have observed some mites on the underside of the leaves in okra. Have removed the leaves and am hoping for the best.

  8. Hi GG,
    WOW! Thanks for the excellent write up.
    I have Hydrangea at my home in Kerala and I really thought there I have two colours: pink and blue! Did not know about the natural litmus funda :-). Thank you, have got to know that now! I kept wondering why the blue flowers are blooming instead of pink! Got some stems from there this time, but it did not successful. I purchased Keradix from Lalbaugh this time, got to know that from one of your previous post. Will try that out soon… So when is your next post coming up. Do you grow Orchids? Do write a post on that.

    • Thanks .Good to hear you liked it. Its so amazing to know the litmus property of Hydrangea. It is actually the presence of aluminium that provides its blue coloration and aluminium is available when the medium is low in pH. I don’t grow orchids as of now.(mostly because of my impatient nature and it is so pricey).

  9. Hey I must tell u that you are doing a great job and it is my pleasure to visit your site.:)don u have a follower button where i can follow u dear?

  10. dear gg,
    any idea on where one can find perlite in chennai? or perhaps a clue on how to research suppliers?

    • Perlite in chennai? I am not very sure if there are any suppliers there. Usually I use websites like or trading b2b sites and narrow down. Easier said than done. It takes a long time to find some suppliers who are just minutes away from your place ;).

  11. I have grown Hydrangea from stem cutting. It is growing well but also very slowly. Is there any way I can expediate its growth rate? I love your Hydrangea blooms!

    • Sorry for the delay JC. Welcome to my blog. Hydrangeas respond very well to a good fertilizer. You can use well composted manure or water soluble fertilizer available in the market.

  12. Hey GG,

    Wonderful writeup. I had a Hydrangea plant that I got from Lalbaugh but it didn’t survive after the first bloom. I kept it well watered and in partial Sun but it just wilted away. Any ideas what might have gone wrong? Also, for most of my plants I am using either the ready potting mix from Lalbaugh (red soil + manure, i think) or the original soil they come in. I have an east facing Balcony, and most of my plants are not doing well. even the ones indoors (even hardy varieties such as money plants/palms etc.) are wilting away. I would love to get your opinion on what to do about it. I like to work with regular soil + manure mixes, is there any organic fertilizer or anti-infection agent you would recommend?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Sam,

      Sorry for the delay in replying. I was busy with the website work.
      Wilting away is an indication of several problems. Lack of sunlight or nutrients could cause that. Try moving it to a place that gets good sunlight and also fertilize with very good manure. Manure takes time to release so give it couple of weeks time.
      For organic fertilizer, you can always continue to use manure. Also you can try out oil cakes. Bone meal is another excellent fertilizer.
      Neem cake is a fertilizer/pesticide.


  13. Hi GG. It was great going through your post. Actually i got a plant from lalbagh after getting inspired by your blog. its growing great.

  14. I have had my cuttings in a pot with rooting hormone for about a week and a half now. They started wilting a little so my mom and I decided to take the bags off. Now I see thta I shouldn’t really do that. They are wilting worse and I am affraid I am loosing them. i can’t get any more cuttings from that particular plant as it is overseas. Will they adapt? Should I put the bags back on them? Is there anything I can do to save them?

    Thank you!

    • Put the bags back on them. Before you put, ensure the pot is not too wet. Rot can cause the plant to wilt. When you remove the bag it should be done gradually and not in a single day. It puts the plant in shock. I think it should pick up. It takes about 2-3 weeks to start rooting. Give it some more time it will root.
      good luck

  15. The leaves of my hydrangea plant are turning brown at the edges almost like as if they are burnt. Why is that happening and what should I do ? Would be most grateful for your advice.

  16. hi, Do you have hydranges now with you? I have been rying very hard to get a Hydrangea, cant find any in Lal bagh.. can you help in getting a sapling?

  17. hey i would like to know if hydrangea blossoms in blue – purple colour can be grown in thiruvalla kerala..actually would love to have it in my wedding to decorate the church pews…and will they survive a few hours through the wedding?

  18. Hi… I really want to know if there is an extra cutting at yours? I have been searching them for ages but in Mumbai its somehow just not available. Could you tell where can I buy them? If you would be interested in selling, I’m more than happy to buy it off you.

  19. hey gg…thanks 4 ur great information…just started my work on it.i am maintaining partial shade for my plants,but some of their leaves are getting partially dried.may i know d reason n remedy?

  20. hey gg..i came to know dat hydrangeas are coming in bright red colour der any soil treatment to change d color of d ordinary pink to red?

  21. Hi GG –

    I am obsessed with Hydrangeas and grew them most successfully while in UK
    and in a hill station up North.Cant say the same for Bangalore.
    One year I have nice blooms and very poor ones the next.
    Some queries :
    1. Are they not supposed to be in a shady place ?
    2.Where will I get rooting powder here in Whitefield ?
    3. Is Cocopeat as effective as Perlite ? Where can we buy Perlite from ?

    Thank you for your great inputs. Kudos to you!

    • Hi,

      Hydrangeas have done well for me in bangalore weather. I kept them in the terrace but under a 35% shade net. You can get rooting powder and perlite from my online store .

      Cocopeat is a natural growing media and it holds more water. We use cocopeat for everything and I can say a mixture of cocopeat and perlite is good to start. we use 30% perlite and 70% cocopeat for a good draining mix.

      hope this helps.

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