Help Please for Hydrangea Cuttings

poitou(8b)June 19, 2013

I am quite new to cuttings and last week I did my first hydrangea cuttings. Please would you look at the photo and see if they look right. It seems they are starting to send out roots from the node above the soil. Have I cut them too long? What should I do next?

Thank you for your help.

PS I take the fish tank off for a couple of hours round midday.

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

They look OK to me. Any nodes above the soil will grow shoots not roots. Do not get impatient and remove cover before they are rooted. Al

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:02AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I rooted cuttings about a month ago and I, too, had numerous roots above the soil line on all of them. It was kind of strange. But boy, were those healthy little guys! They were fully rooted out within 19 days - unbelievable - and I went ahead and transplanted into the ground. They have continued to grow like gangbusters. I wish all of my cuttings were that successful.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Thank you very much for putting my mind at rest. When you say not to remove the cover before they are rooted, do you mean not at all? I thought it helped circulate the air and avoid disease to remove it for a little while each day.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:00AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

No I mean don't leave the cover off permanently before roots have formed. The way you are doing it is fine, and necessary. Al

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Okay, thanks very much.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:30PM
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All the cuttings, except one whose stem went brown and died, now have little green swellings either side of the nodes. Does this mean they're rooted and I can leave the cover off? Or should it come off for a little longer each day? Please tell me what happens next.

I don't know how long they should stay indoors for. The weather has warmed up and days are 27/30C, nights 14/16C. The cuttings were started on 14th June.

Thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:19AM
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I would keep the humidity up for quite a while longer. I started my hydrangea cuttings around the same time you did. Although mine have started roots, every time I take off the dome they wilt down within 12 hours. Luckily they have come back from this twice after I put the dome back on, but now I am not planning on taking the chance again for a month or so.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Thanks for your advice. Once the dome is off, where will you put your cuttings?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:48AM
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My propagation box is a plastic tote with holes drilled in it and filled with very coarse sand. My dome is another, slightly larger, plastic tote placed over it upside down. This is indoors, so my light source is a fish tank light. I have found this to be sufficient lighting when I experimented with growing my own grass plugs.

Anyway, to your question, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. The one hydrangea I removed from the box is in a small pot that I bought a vegetable seedling in. I removed it as a sort of experiment to see how soon I could remove a cutting from the box. This thing has just started to show roots. It wilted down within 12 hours as I said. I thought it was dead, but in an attempt to revive it I placed a plastic water pitcher upside down over it and misted the whole inside of it as well as the plant. The cutting revived. I waited a week or so for the roots to establish more and tried to remove the pitcher. It wilted down again. So now I'll leave the pitcher on until I see some significant growth.

Sort of a long post, but just wanted to share my findings for other newbies like me.

What I'm still wondering is if there will be a point when I can take the cuttings out of the box and go straight into pots without needing to supply artificial humidity or if I just need to find a way to provide humidity to a space large enough to house all those pots. My rush to get them out of the box stems mainly from the concern that sand has no nutrients. Things can't live in sand indefinitely, so at some point you are hindering your plants' growth by keeping them in the sand. I just don't know where that point is.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:00AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I got so tired of playing that wilting game that here is what I finally did. I watered them well. Then, in the evening when the heat was down and it was cool out, I took the plastic bag off of the top of each plant and put them outside in a place that is ALWAYS in the shade. They wilted a little, but the next day, I went out to the shady spot and misted them all. They all recovered. I waited another week to let them acclimate to being outside and then I planted them in the yard. Job done. Enough was enough already, LOL! They are all doing fine.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 12:15PM
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donnaroyston(z7a VA)

Good to hear you had a happy ending. BTW, I have found hydrangea cuttings to be ridiculously easy. I have one 4-year-old plant that began in a cut flower bouquet in a vase. I didn't throw it away immediately after the flower faded, and a couple weeks later it had rooted in the water. I potted it up and pampered it for a couple more weeks, and eventually planted it in the ground.

Not many woody plants will root in water like that. I can think of willow, and there may be a few others. So you were lucky to choose a plant that is easy and rewarding from cuttings. Enjoy your plants!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Well, more than half of my cuttings have healthy-looking new leaves and the remainder have green swellings. They are still under the fish tank except for an hour or two each day. As a beginner, I think I am over-anxious but I will leave them like that for at least another week or so. Thanks for the benefit of your experience.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 5:48AM
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