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Best Time to Take Hydrangea Cuttings in Texas?

I am a NJ native where hydrangeas grow like weeds. I've done one, endless summer down here last year in a container and was AMAZED at how crazy it did! Lots of beautiful blooms. But then I went to NJ for an extended visit and it died. The old wood didn't even bloom the next spring.

I was JUST fortunate enough to get a pathetic Endless Summer at a close out sale at my local garden center. I plan on putting it in a container for morning sun and afternoon shade. I just have one question. Everything I've read says you shouldn't take cuttings off hydrangeas in the fall, root hormone them and put them in compost. In NJ, this would be in spring. What is really considered "fall" in Texas? It's scraggly and if I took some cuttings now and rooting hormoned them, am I making a mistake? Should I just let it look scraggly until spring? (Which I don't mind doing....believe me. I'm just so thrilled to have an endless summer down here, I could cry. They mean HOME to me.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

Re: Cuttings

I would assume Fall has arrived in Texas when temperatures moderate down to the 80s :shock: and rains -hopefully- arrive. No hurry to plant ES now, of course. You could keep it in the pot as long as it has some of those round fertilizer pellets and you religiously water it and fertilize it. Transplant shock will be an issue if you try to plant it now with temps in the mid to upper 90s. You could put ES outside for several weeks in a location with bright shade and not too much wind so it gets used to indirect sun. Do check the soil moisture often as a small amount of wind can quickly dry it out. I hear that we will have El Nino rains again from Fall thru Spring so choose a location where water does not create long standing puddles. 3-4" of mulch up to the drip line or beyond will help in future summers; check several times through the growing season and add more mulch when necessary. I use drip to provide the soil with water. You can also water the soil with a hose early in the morning. If you plan to use a sprinkler, water early in the mornings around 5-6am to prevent leaf spot and give it about 1.5 gallons of water (1 gallon during the rest of the year) per watering. During the hottest part of the year, I use the drip twice a week with one manual watering of the soil on Sunday. In dry winters, water once every week or once every two weeks as the soil does not normally freeze down here. Amend the soil if needed in alkaline soils; I amend in Spring and sometimes again in July-September (I wait for the plant to tell me).

Hydrangeas will root best from softwood cuttings taken thru July-ish. After that, the stems begin to slowly harden (to prepare for winter). While you can still have success with those cuttings, the success ratio is better with cuttings taken earlier. I would stick them in a 50/50 mix of peat and sand, add medium root hormone and keep cuttings moist and out of direct sunlight until they root. That's probably 6+ weeks maybe??? Definitely no sunlight during the strong hot summer sun that we still have.

Or follow whatever method/approach has worked for you best before! :-()

ES has already developed invisible flower buds (happens around mid-July here) at the end of its branches so I would not do anything to change its scraggly look. Maybe wait until it gets bigger and then prune crossing branches and stuff like that after it has bloomed in Spring 2016 but before :!: the end of June 2016. It will rebloom once or twice after that depending on the weather. I usually notice little to no new bloomage when temps are in the 100s. Just like my roses.... Ha! Can't blame them, can I? Hee hee hee.

Enjoy your ES!

Shirley Pinchev
Full Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: Shoreline wa

Re: Cuttings

I use perlite - with almost 90% success. I put cuttings with two nodes with bottom pair removed. I do use rooting hormone and a heat mat. The perlite is in plastic shoe boxes - stacked in twos - one is punched for drainage and the outer box keep the mat dry. We elevate the box off of the heat mat - a couple of chop sticks work great and another pair under the box with the holes to keep it off the water that drains out of the box with pearlite. The boxes are cheap at the dollar store or discount stores and last for several years. Sometimes I cover with clear plastic bags and other times I don't bother. I take the cutting at any time.

Is there any way we can set up an exchange of cuttings?

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