Air Layering Hydrangeas

I have been trying to propagate this hydrangea for about two years now. The first time I let nature take it course and let the hydrangea stem lay on the ground. Well that didn’t work out because then I had to dig it up and that was so hard to do that eventually I had to rip it up and it did not survive. Three times I tried to cut a stem using different methods and have it grow that way. Obviously that didn’t work because the plant just wants to stay in tacked. No matter how nice I was how sharp the tools the cut piece would die. I knew it was a shot in the dark but I wanted to try anyways.

Which brings me to air layering aka air propagation. It’s call air layering because it takes ground propagation and moves it up into the air. This way the plant doesn’t root to far into the ground or get eaten by bugs. Here is what you will need to get started.

Tools Needed

Box cutter (the sharper the better).

Ziplock bag (or plastic bag like covering)

Dirt (I use topsoil from my local dairy farm)

Water (good old H2O)

Something to tie it with (I use gardening ties because they are easier to remove)

Step 1

Look along the stems of your hydrangea and find a steam that has top leave then a second layer of leaves and a third layer of leaves with two buds forming out of them. You’re going to want to go under those buds so you have some of the plant to grow next year. Going under those buds look for a forth set of leaves with two buds growing from them. Take your razor blade and gently cut a circle about an inch above them. You don’t want to cut all the way through you just want to the top bark and it the stem inside.

Step 2

Next got two to three inches above that circle (I go three fingers up) and cut another circle. Remember to only cut the bark not the stem.

Step 3

Cut a straight line from the top circle to the bottom circle making sure to go deep enough to cut all the way through the bark.

Step 4

Peel the bark you just cute off of the stem. If you cut deep enough it should be very easy to peel off. Remember not to touch the layer under the bark with your hands because the oil from your hand will keep it from growing roots.

Step 5

Cut each side of the bag off at the seams leaving the bottom of the bag attached together. Take the tie tie and tie the one end of the bag around the bottom of your cutting.

Step 6

Fill the bag with dirt making sure to pack in the dirt and wet it with water so that it forms a ball around the cutting.

Step 7

Wrap the bag close and tight round the cutting making sure there is just enough space for a little air to get in but not enough to make the dirt dry out to quickly and then tie the top closed with a tie tie

And there you have it you’re all done. Now you just need to make sure the soil in the bag stays wet and your plant should grow roots. Keep in mind that it’s going to take a couple of month to root. If you are doing this in June like I have here you might start to see roots showing in the bag by August.

Winter Tips

Sometime hydrangeas take a very long time to root. Durning this time it might start to get cold outside and you may even need to cut your hydrangea down from winter. If this happens don’t worry just open your bag and look inside moving the dirt if you need to, to see if there are any roots. if any roots have from you can cut your pant just under the bag and take it in doors and put it in a pot for the winter. If all goes well then it should from bigger and stronger roots over the winter and you will be able to plant it outdoors by spring.

I hope you find these tips and tricks helpfully if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below. Happy planting 🙂.

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