Magazine article Sunset

Make More Hydrangeas: How to Create New Plants by Taking Cuttings. (Garden)

Magazine article Sunset

Make More Hydrangeas: How to Create New Plants by Taking Cuttings. (Garden)

Article excerpt

Nearly every month of the year, Fred and Kit Fulton successfully multiply garden hydrangea (H. macroplrylla) varieties at Alsea River Gardens (541/563-5599), the hydrangea cut-flower operation they own in Waldport, Oregon. "We're pruning and thinning constantly," explains Fred, which means they always have cutting material for new plants.

The Fultons began the business by taking cuttings from healthy-looking hydrangeas around town. They selected plants with thick, sturdy leaves and large, clean (unspotted) blooms.

Though the Fultons occasionally make new plants by pushing hydrangea sticks into garden soil, they get better results when they are a bit more scientific about it and start cuttings in small pots using rooting hormone.

Here we show their simple step-by-step process. Spring through early summer--while new growth is at the softwood stage--is one of the best times to make new plants. Start with a variety you really like, since all of its offspring will be identical. Cuttings take about a month to root. New plants occasionally produce a few flowers the first summer after rooting. By the third summer, they should be blooming heavily.

Hydrangea step-by-step

TIME: 30 minutes

MATERIALS

* 4-inch pots or other containers

* Potting soil

* Sharp pruning shears

* Rooting hormone

* Pencil

DIRECTIONS

1. …

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