do hydrangeas sprout from seeds?

phyl345(z.5)January 4, 2008

last spring i placed a bunch of hydrangea cutting in containers in hopes of propagating them .... months went by & i continued to check for moisture etc... the cuttings all rotted, but little seedlings were all over the place!

in the fall i emptied the containers ... they all had the start of root systems ... & they *do* indeed seem to be hydrangeas ... i planted them in the garden ...

the only thing i can think of is that when i put the cuttings in last spring, i crumbled up the dried heads (that had survived the winter) and put them in the containers just as a reminder to me of what the sticks were ... soooo ....

... did those crumbled up, dried heads contain viable seeds? ... if that's the case, i have to wonder why i don't have hydrangeas popping up all over the place if they are that easy to propagate ... what say you?

thanks so much, phyl

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Many friends report finding seedlings around their Hydrangeas. I find some occasionally, but not directly underneath the shrubs. My plants are heavily mulched, which discourages seed germination. I have never attempted to propagate them from seed, because the progenies will usually be unlike the host cultivar.
I do root cuttings from some choice cultivars. Taking new wood cuttings in late summer has worked well for me. I use a 50/50 mixture of pine bark fines and sand or perlite, which allows sharp drainage of water to prevent rotting. Tenting of the pot with a plastic bag helps to prevent excessive drying. Use some type of support for the bag, to prevent it touching the cuttings. When kept moist, roots will usually appear within 2 to 3 months.
In my Zone, I can leave them outdoors to overwinter, but in colder areas, they should be protected from severe freezing temperatures.
Good luck with your seedlings!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 1:33AM
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thank you for your response georgiarose .... hmmmm, i am thinking that my little unexpected seedlings might be something i will regret giving *space* to in my garden ... when they don't come *true* does that probably mean they will be inferior? .... i think i will pull them out next spring ...

p.s. all the *cuttings* rotted, but i guess i *stuck* them at the wrong time of year? (spring)

thanks again, phyl

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:40PM
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No, 'true' just means that they may not be completely identical to the parent. Flower size, flower color, plant development, winter endurance, height, growth habit, leaf form, etc, all those may differ slightly, a lot or none at all.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 6:27PM
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