Growing hydrangeas from stem cuttings in soil can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to propagate new plants. Follow these steps to successfully grow hydrangeas from stem cuttings:
Timing: The best time to take stem cuttings is during late spring or early summer when the hydrangea plant is actively growing. Choose healthy stems that are not flowering and are free from diseases or pests.
Cutting Selection: Select stems that are about 4 to 6 inches long and have a few leaf nodes (points on the stem where leaves emerge). Use sharp and clean pruning shears or scissors to make a clean cut just below a leaf node.
Remove Leaves: Strip off the lower set of leaves from the stem, leaving two or three pairs of leaves near the top. This helps reduce moisture loss and encourages root growth.
Hormone Rooting Powder (optional): While not essential, using a rooting hormone powder can increase the chances of successful root development. Dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone powder, following the product instructions.
Potting Mix: Prepare a well-draining potting mix for the cuttings. You can use a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, or purchase a commercial rooting mix.
Planting: Make a hole in the soil using a pencil or similar object and insert the cut end of the stem into the hole. Gently press the soil around the cutting to hold it in place.
Watering: Water the soil thoroughly after planting to ensure good moisture contact with the stem. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged throughout the rooting process.