Propagating Oak Leaf Hydrangea through Cuttings

Taking Cuttings from Oak Leaf Hydrangea

A few weeks ago I took a lone cutting from an Oak Leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). I’ve read where they are difficult to root but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. It was a stem tip cutting with two leaves and a length of about 3 inches. I dipped the cut in in rooting hormone and stuck the cutting in moist sand. I checked the cutting periodically and watched as the cut end began to swell which is where the new roots were beginning to form. Then in six weeks I gently pulled on the little hydrangea and met resistance. I carefully removed the sand from the base of the cutting and found roots! I find that it helps to add enough water to the sand to make the sand soggy make the roots easier to lift. It was a cutting no more, but a new future shrub for the garden.

After discovering the roots I quickly went and potted the new oak leaf hydrangea. I like to plant new cuttings in pots until their root systems develop more significantly. Putting them in pots makes them easier to care for, especially if they are all in one location. You might question the logic of taking cuttings from a plant that seeds easily, but to me it makes sense. First of all I take cuttings of anything I can just to see if it would work. To me part of it is the challenge and part of it is the chance to get another plant to add to the garden. There is a more logical reason: time. It might be spring of 2009 before any seedlings sprout from our hydrangeas but with cuttings I have a plant ready to grow it’s root systems now. I figure that I’m gaining several months of growth. To me that’s not a bad reason to propagate a plant!

9 Replies to “Propagating Oak Leaf Hydrangea through Cuttings”

  1. Good job! I am one of those who has been unable to do cuttings from this. I think the trick must be the sand so I’ll try it if I take some cuttings. Great, great plant in the garden.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Dave. I have been planning to propagate my Annabelle. I’ll try your method.

  3. Good looking little plant Dave. Another “freebie”. I’m all for that.

  4. Very interesting, Dave. It’s good to know how to do these things.

  5. I just planted my first Oak Leaf Hydrangea this year. It’s not all that large yet, of course, but I may try this next year. I have to have a place in mind for planting it and at this point that’s somewhat of a challenge. LOL.

  6. Tina,

    I’ve tried two other cuttings before of the oak leaf hydrangea and they didn’t work. I was pretty happy when this one did!


    Definitely give that Annabelle a try! It would be a nice one to have extras of.


    Free plants are great!


    Thanks! Propagating is one of those areas that I find the most interesting in gardening. Of course it is just one of many interesting areas!


    We have two of them right now and both were planted this year. Don’t worry about a place to plant it you could always give it away as a gift if you can’t find a spot in your garden. Or even use it for plant exchanges!

  7. Dave,

    You are going to have a complete garden of Dave Propagated plants before long…


  8. I’ve done several shrubs from cuttings. I’ve never thought to do a Hydrangea. Great job! Can’t wait to see it mature.

  9. Hello there! I've been trying to propagate my hydrangeas by cutting too. I've had no success so far. I might just try sand next time.

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