Hello everyone. Has anyone had any success in rooting hydrangeas in water? Just to get the roots started?
I tried but mine didn't take. I wish they would do better.
Hi! I have had success a few times, but I wouldn't recommend it as a means of propagation. It's almost just as easy to get some vermiculite and some Rootone, or not, and stick them, keeping them under a see-through plastic cover or bag of some type. Most always root in several weeks! But I did have resounding success with one, I had picked the flower and left it in water for a couple of months, actually wasn't trying to root it, and it surprised me with a bunch of roots, so give it a try, you've got nothing to loose!. The best thing to do is just forget about it and change the water every week or so. I've also done it with a blue lace cap that I've had for about 25 years, several times in fact.
Good Luck, you might as well give it a try with several varieties, some obviously root easier than others.
I have actually had better luck rooting hydrangea cutting in water than with rooting hormone. A plant expert friend of mine said it couldn't be done but as you can see from dondeldux's photos it certainly can be done.
I found that cuttings in rooting hormone and potting soil need constant misting, more than I can do and still keep my job.
Thanks RB and Donna.
Donna it looks like you are doing well rooting in water. I bought the book Hydrangeas A Gardener's Guide and it does not mention rooting in water. In fact the process that it gives seems very time consuming and hideous.
I've put 3 cuttings in water. Hopefully they will take.
Mike, I currently have several cuttings sitting under a small fish, or reptile tank, compliments of our town dump, and I will post the unveiling of the cuttings in about a week or two, I pulled on them several days ago and there seemed to be some resistance!! It is really too easy, once you do it the first time and see those roots, there will be no stopping you!! Every hydrangea you see in a public place, a restaurant or gas station will be a potential cutting!! Beware!!
LOL. I know what you mean. I was in NYC this past weekend and was amazed by all the hydrangeas they have growing. They seem to grow like weeds in NY.
I got some great pics, which I will upload later tonight.
I wanted to bring all sorts of cuttings home with me. LOL.
Never go anywhere in the summer months without one or two covered coffee cups full of water either in your car or in your trunk, you never know when you'll need it!! Last year went to a Macdonalds in Rhode Island and there were several plants of the prettiest large pink hydrangea you'd ever seen! You know what happened next!!
My experience with most plants is that they will root in water but then do not make the transition to soil well at all. It can be an illusory success. For a plant like hydrangea, which roots as easily as anything, I have had 100% success rooting new-growth cuttings in plain old moist potting soil, with a clear plastic bag over the top held off the plant with a chopstick or skewer or pen. No misting, but I usually cut off about half of each leaf to take up less room and also to cut down on water requirements. After a couple of weeks you can remove this as there will be sufficient roots to support the plant. Just snip, poke them in, cover, and wait. I never bother with rooting hormone. I did several in early June that have already been transplanted back into the garden and are growing vigorously.
I always take a bottle of water with me when I'm out and about looking for cuttings! It would be so awful to get arrested for this habit.
what I have heard the roots that you get from sitting in water are not "true roots", whatever that means.
I have a nice short Power Point on hydrangea propagation that I can send out if you want to get me your email address.
You guys may be correct about roots originating in water not being true roots. I also had 3 or 4 rooted cuttings from that same plant which also rooted in the water and I lost track of which was which! So, actually I don't know if that particular one made it through the winter! Best to do it the traditional way, it's just way too easy not to!! '
Some very informative information.
Mary - thanks for the power point, it is very helpful. Looks like I'm now on my way to buy some potting supplies. LOL.
OK Guys, Well, I won't exactly win the "Propagator of the Month Award" with these, but I couldn't wait any longer and had to take a peek! I left the other 3 cuttings of this variety for a week or 10 more days to further root and potted these 2 up that were a bit further along. Actually these could have stood a little more time also, but I'm confident they will be fine. These were done with no hormone and have done some others with hormone, but I didn't right down the dates, so it won't be much of a test, since I know they all will root eventually.From HYDRANGEAS
These took the better part of a month, again no dates, but they could have used another week. So, as a rule of thumb, 4 to 5 weeks should do it, and you can aways pull them out sooner and take a peek and just gently put them back and rewater and they will be fine. I have five cuttings of this variety and will put them all together once they have grown a good root system. And since it's so early, I will probably plant this into the ground in early September and cover heavily with mulch and they will be fine for the winter.
Happy rooting everyone!!
Cool. What is the potting media? It looks like sand?
I went to Lowes today to buy materials to plant the cuttings I have in water. I am going to use Perlit, it was recommended to help avoid root rot. I'm also going to try the tub method that Mary's power point shows. It seems very simple and self maintained.
Mary - do you keep the tub in a shaded area?
It's vermiculite. Acts like sand, stays nice and moist. Actually, I think you could even skip that part and put them directly in potting soil as long as there is a plastic bag or fish tank or something over them to hold in the humidity.
Cool. I just saw your tank method. I never thought about that. I read where you were doing this, however the process never dawned on me. Do you keep them in shaded areas?
I always keep all cutting in complete shade!! Last year as I keep rooting cuttings later in the season, the sun got lower and lower in the sky and I had some leftover pieces of white PVC lath, (the criss-cross stuff) and set that in front of my fish tanks when the sun crept in. Once rooted and potted up then they can take a little (couple of hours) of morning sun for a few weeks, gradually increasing the amount of sun. I never go beyond 4 hours of morning a day and make sure they are always hydrated, that's the easiest way to kill them after all your hard work. Fish tanks work well, people throw them away at the dump all the time!! The stuff we find at the dump would amaze you, I could start a whole other forum on dump treasures!!
LOL...I actually have about 4-10 gal tanks in the attic. Of course you now know what they will be used for. My partner thinks I'm crazy. He told me the other day I needed to stop the insanity! I have the perfect shaded area for the cuttings. I'll be working on them this weekend.
I have no idea how I turned into someone who is so enthralled with these flowers - weird! : )
It just happens! Up until last year we only had 1 blue lace-cap in the yard for probably 25 years! Last year we walked into a nursery looking for a pot for a geranium and voila they had several out of this world varieties, and we never even knew these beautiful flowers existed!! These gorgeous flowers the size of grapefruits in all these beautiful colors!! Then you start noticing plants in other places and going to a few nurseries and the rest is history! After you buy a dozen or so plants, you find out that they root like weeds and then you start scouring out closed motels, cemeteries, restaurants, all sorts of businesses and gas stations for cuttings. You'll be amazed at what you can find. Make sure you have at least 4 of each variety as you'll want to plant them together and in a year or two you'll have a regular plant that looks like it came from a nursery! Unfortunately, hydrangeas are not my only addition, amaryllis come first, and just starting on Kalmia (mountain laurel)! Amaryllis are great because it gives you something to enjoy in the winter months and you can throw them outside for the summer months and they love the heat as long as you keep them fed and watered! If you're weird, I'd hate to say what I am!! Have fun!! And just remember these will root with or without rooting hormone, may be a bit faster with the hormone, but I'm trying it without this year, after all the stuff is a carcinogen!
Donna - you are too funny! I was literally laughing out loud. Only because it's so true. I'm already there. I think I have a total of 9 that I've purchased and have I'm not even sure how many cuttings from each one. Then every where I go, I'm on the look out for them.
We also have Amaryllis in a deep red color. They are beautiful. We also had a Kalmia and it had some very beautiful blooms, but then just one day it completely died. Not sure what happened. No sign of stress or anything.
If you are interested in trading cuttings, I would be more than happy to do so, I'll pay postage and all! : )
Mike, I've never sent cuttings in the mail, (just seeds)and I would be concerned about the heat, but maybe 2 day priority would be alright, but I'd prefer to wait until the weather, at least on my end, moderates. My plants are all stressed from the heat but maybe in a few weeks or so, (you'd still have plenty of time to root them)(I took cuttings as late as September last year, they rooted but had to spend the winter in a cold frame.) I'll see. My Domotoi is quite large and I could take 5/6 cuttings from that one, and if I get to one of my old haunts, and have the opportunity to take a few more I'll let you know. Last year the first cuttings I took I left in a glass of water in the house for close to 2 weeks before I got around to attempting to root them. So, If I get the opportunity, I'll take some for you and leave them in water until the weather cools down, and then I can take my Domotoi. No Promises!! In the meantime, keep yours eyes open, and don't forget to try cemeteries, most of them don't let people plant in the ground around here, but I did hit the jackpot on Cape Cod!
You're probably a bit too hot for Kalmia down your way. They are almost impossible to root, have to buy the plants, no other way and they grow way too slowly, life it too short! Next year we will make the trek down to Connecticut, where Broken Arrow Nursery specializes in them! Can't wait!
Thanks Donna, I appreciate it. Thank you for all your suggestions and your willingness to help out. I potted 6 cuttings today using the "tub" method. I hope it works out. I'll let you know.
Oh no... I think I've found a new addiction now that I know its that easy to do with cuttings! :-) I've had a couple hydrangeas for a few years but were only purchased as 'filler' plants.
Now I'll be 'stalking' hydrangeas when I'm out & about as I'm starting to like them more & more!
hostarookie - yep you sure will. I've started doing the same. I need to remember to start traveling with a pair of scissors and a water bottle! LOL.
Maybe I am lazy, but hydrangeas root so easy that I do them in rootone and dirt from my yard. I have a frame covered in plastic that I put over them. I don't worry if the leaves fall off because they usually bust out new leaves pretty soon. I just put 3 in every pot and always get one or two. For me, the bigger task is knowing when to plan them. In the past I have tried to plant in early September, but then you really have to be careful to protect them from hard freezes. Last year I wintered them in my garage. Eventually they did freeze after Christmas, but they came back this spring, went in the ground and have done great (one even had a bloom already this year). I plan to try the same again this winter.
Hi Finleaton - I don't think it's lazy at all, especially if you can get yours to root so easily. Me on the other hand, for some reason can not. I've got the tub method going and it's been a week and still nothing. I'm sure I'm just being impatient. I'll give it a few more weeks.
Don't be IMPATIENT!! A week is much too soon, even weeds would take longer than that!!! Give them at least 3 weeks before you pull them out to check!! Some varieties root more easily than others, in 3 to 4 weeks you WILL have some roots, the pictures I showed above were at least 3 weeks, and they could have gone another 10 days. But, I planted them up and they are doing just fine.
I know I know. Patience is a virtue. I did have two that I had to remove from the tub because the leaves wilted very badly. I took them out and put them in water.
This is actually fun trying different methods.
OK - so I just must not have the green thumb to root these so called easy to root hydrangeas.
All six cuttings that I tried to root have pretty much died. The one that did get roots after I planted it, pretty much dried up and died as well (even though I made sure it had plenty of water).
I think I'm just going to stick with growing them instead of rooting them - too much trouble.
That's too bad Mike, but try again. I'm thinking maybe the stems weren't long enough, they should be 2-3" with at least 1" out of the soil, so that the wet soil does not touch the leaves. If you take them out of the rooting cups and the roots aren't long enough, (the pictures I posted in a previous post were barely marginal)and pot them up, they should be kept in shade for at least another week and slowly acclimated to the sun and never put out in full sun, just a few hours tops after the week or 10 days. If you planted them directly in the ground that may have been another mistake. They should have been potted up in 4-6"pots and allowed to grow a root system that fills the pot, then they could go out into the ground. Feed them with a week solution of Miracle Grow or spray them with a foliar spray of a week solution of Miracle Grow. Obviously I guess you can use anything, I just happen to have MG around.
Speaking of rooted cuttings, just this morning, we unveiled about 15 cuttings that finally had rooted enough to suit me, about the size of a golf ball or a little smaller and we took them out of the fish tanks where they had 100% humidity and left them in the shade and then went to lunch. We were only gone for 1 1/2 hours and when we got back they had totally shriveled up, looked like large corn flakes. They were still wet, I guess it was the shock of the wind, I don't know. Anyway, I was quite upset but we potted them up and returned them to another fish tank in total shade, (which we usually never do), sprayed them and the inside of the tank and are waiting for them to become turgid again. So, you see, even people with experience can do some little think wrong and fail. I learned a lesson, hope I come out on the right side of this one! So, if it takes a bit longer for your EBay cuttings to arrive, don't fret, they can perish in the mail if too hot! Today is in the mid 80's and very humid, would have thought the cuttings would have liked that. So, give it another try I know you can do it! Good Luck,
I know not to give up, it's just a bit discouraging. However I have two more trying to root. I think I may have had them in to deep. Do you water them? Maybe that is what I'm doing wrong? I water them whenever the vermiculite feels dry.
I'm sorry to hear about your cuttings. Hopefully they will come back around.
Speaking of the Ebay cuttings, they arrived today. I'm not thrilled about them. They were a bit dry and one of them has really bad dried up leaves. I did immediately pot them and have them in a shaded part of the yard, actually under one of the other Hydrangeas which will give it a ton of shade.
Here are a couple of pics. I'm hoping they will survive. I planted them together.
Mike, Actually my cuttings revived later that evening with judicial "misting". Yours,(eBay) on the other hand, look a bit crispy. Keep them out of the sun and mist them, misting is so very important to keep the leaves moist for a while anyway.
As far as watering my cuttings while rooting, I virtually never water them. They are virtually air-tight. If I check on them in 3/4 weeks then I might add a tad more water, but they really shouldn't need it if you've got your propagation system set up properly; fish tank, bag or whatever. The inside of your tank or whatever should be dripping with water beads....unless there is a leak somewhere as underneath the fish tank where air might escape or leak in, there should be virtually none, or just a very little evaporation. Keep trying, eventually you'll get the hang of it and then no hydrangea will be safe from your clippers!! They'll see you coming and say Oh Oh here comes Mike, Duck!!
Thanks Donna. So I took your advice and rooted 7 more. LOL.
I realized what mistakes I was making. I was watering them when the vermucilite felt dry to the touch. Also, I had them under a tree but got quite a bit of sun. I moved them to a more shaded area. Plus the anticipation kept me looking at them (LOL). So now I know not to water (only mist if needed) and not keep opening the lid.
I am visiting relatives in NY. I went to my aunt's house in Brooklyn (that she recently sold) and got some/many hydrangea clippings... actually pulled up one stem with roots. She has had these wonderful hydrangea bushes that are at least 60 years old and are still kickin! I am trying to root some for me and my cousins. I don't know where to start... I have pitchers of hydrangeas all over the kitchen in water. Donna, you seem quite knowledgeable... can you or anyone else provide me with some first steps. I got the clippings last night. Thanks,
I have got to try this with a fish tank. I have well over 100 hydrangeas and would love to have a few more of my favorites. Incrediball is one of my favorites and nearly impossible to find. I bought 6 of them a few years ago and they are awesome. I have gotten so many compliments on them and would love to have more but my nursery quit carrying them. I guess I'll spend tomorrow on Craigslist looking for a fish tank
One year in the fall, I cut down my dad's hydrangea and buried all the cuttings. In the spring I uncovered them, and they were all rooting. This was is in NY, zone 5, with great snow coverage. Now I'm in NC, zone 7b. I would like to try this here. It's Nov.18th now. I have a variegated hydrangea and would like to root some cuttings this way. Anyone have any luck doing this?