June 4, 2015

Cloning plants...the easy way.

If you live in Florida, you know our sultry, summer days have arrived.  It's becoming hard to get more than a couple gardening  hours in the morning, before the sweltering heat sets in.  I did get out this morning long enough to pull a few weeds, tie up some tomatoes and cucumbers, and start some hydrangea cuttings.  I've always just plopped my hydrangeas in a bucket of water until they root, then pot them up.  Some folks have better luck starting them in soil, but I nearly always get  100% success my way, so as they say, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".  I took some cuttings from these shrubs first, sometimes called Bigleaf, French, or Mophead Hydrangeas.

The shrubs the cuttings are coming from...these all came from one purchased shrub.

I'm  taking the cuttings from the back of the shrubs where it won't be noticed.

The cuttings should be this years growth, somewhat supple.

There's no big mystery to this...I just strip off  all but the top couple sets of leaves.  As you can see, I've trimmed the bottom  two leaves to half their size, not mandatory. 

Another view.

I always use a white or light colored bucket so the light is more available to the stems.  I'm using a piece of a gladioli trellis to help the cuttings stand up, but it's not necessary.  What is important, is  that they stay in the shade and have ample water in the bucket.

I'm going to grab a cutting from this variegated Lacecap Hydrangea also.

And one from this Shooting Star, also a Lacecap Hydrangea.

All done.  I'll leave them here for about a month,  they should have enough roots to pot up then.  I usually keep them potted until fall, when I either plant them or give them away.  And, of course, I'll keep you posted.


  1. Janice, your hydrangeas are gorgeous! I had some up north and they were one of my favorite flowers. I've seen them sell down here, but I don't have room for them and I'm not sure they'd do well in the rainy season. You've reminded me I need to take some cuttings this morning, and you're absolutely right about trying to get in the gardening before the heat starts! Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Thanks Lynn. The Florida heat usually has mine begging for water, by August they'll look tired. Wish we could grow all the types I see in the northern gardens. They're kind of like hostas though, we are very limited to the varieties that do well here. Hope you have a great weekend also.

  3. Hi Janice, I'm thoroughly impressed with your hydrangeas. They are stunning! It is very difficult to grow them here in central Florida and you rarely see them. They have to have just the right conditions. I have one that I'm nursing along that's not doing too bad. I see that yours are blooming blue, too. Mine is pink - guess my soil is alkaline. I didn't know they were that easy to root. Absolutely beautiful!

  4. Hi Susan, thanks for the compliments on the hydrangeas. I've grown them for at least the last thirty years, I keep oak leaves or pine straw piled up around them which I think helps keep them blue. It's interesting that you mentioned yours was pink...last year I rooted some for my brother off of my blues...they're pink in his garden. Good luck on yours.

  5. Oh my goodness . . . your hydrangeas are absolutely beautiful! I'm quite jealous as I'm fairly certain I do not have the ability to grow these. Not to mention the fact that I do good just to grow a plant, much less clone one. :-)