How do I start hydrangeas from a cutting? And what time of the year do you deadhead them?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Susie: Late spring through early summer is the time to take cuttings of your hydrangeas for propagating purposes. This will give the cuttings sufficient time to root before transplanting them into the garden. Taking cuttings at other times of the year, when the temperatures and humidity are lower, reduces the chances of root development. Using a clean and sharp pair of pruners or gardening scissors, take your cutting off (5-6 inches) from the new growth. Remove all foliage except for the top two pairs of leaves and then dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone such as Root Tone. Place the cutting in a small container filled with sand/peat-based potting mixture that allows for good drainage. Place in a space that has good filtered light and keep the soil moist but not sopping wet. Your cutting should begin to root within two to three weeks. Pruning practices of hydrangea differ between species. Panicle and Arborescens (smooth) hydrangeas bloom on new wood, or current season’s growth. They should be pruned this time of year before the new growth begins in the spring. Macrophylla (bigleaf) and oakleaf hydrangea bloom on old wood, or last season’s growth. These do not require annual pruning except to shape and remove dead wood. The best time to prune these is after they have finished blooming in the fall. Pruning hydrangeas at the wrong time can result in lack of blooms.