I love hydrangea season. And it’s here! The first of my hydrangeas bloomed this week. We’ve had a ton of rain here in the mid-Atlantic so I am hoping that this year they will flourish. I have three kinds in my garden: a miniature variety called Bobo, a hot pink one called City Lights, and the classic Nikko Blue. I planted the Nikko Blue about twenty years ago and they have been quite easy to grow in my soil, which is heavy on red clay.
One important note: deer will eat your hydrangea. I moved the Nikko Blue into my front yard and they were all eaten so I moved them back home to the back yard two years ago and they are thriving again.
Hydrangea make beautiful cut flowers and they dry nicely (I will touch on that in future posts). They are also fairly easy to propagate. Sometimes they will do it on their own and one day you’ll notice a new plant next to a host plant, as shown below.
Always check your low lying branches when you cut back in the fall, one may have set down roots. At that point, you can cut the branch from the host and leave it all winter and then move it to a new home in the spring.
But you can also make them propagate. Some people do it with cuttings in water, but I have never had much luck doing that and I find it tedious.
I prefer what some call the “brick method”. This method forces the branch to put down roots. To do it, take a lower branch and set something on it about halfway between the plant and the end of the branch. It can be a brick, or in this case, I have used a cement bunny.
That’s all you need to do for now. Leave it there all summer and make sure it gets water, In fall, if it has set down roots, you can cut the branch to free it from the host. You can also feed it some fertilizer. Some people replant at this point, but I prefer to let the baby plant stay snuggled next to its mama all winter and replant in the spring. I often put the new plants in pots for the following summer. Wherever I move them, I make sure to take a good amount of the host soil. It may take a year or two for the new plant to flower.
I potted these Bobo hydrangea last summer and look at them now!
If you have any questions, comment below and I will do my best to answer quickly.