Time began in a garden…
What I wouldn’t give to see a glimpse of the Garden of Eden. As much as I loooove flowers and plants, well, I just know I would fall head-over-heels in love with that perfectly planned garden, where God walked in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3:8) Can you even imagine?? I can…but I also can’t. It must have been more stunning than whole fields of lavender or tulips or sunflowers. It had to have been more wonderful than the gardens of Versailles during Marie Antoinette’s reign. It was surely more marvelous than our humble flowerbeds at home. (But those are still lovely to me.)
All I can hope is that God has planted a similar garden in Heaven for us to enjoy one day. All that gold and finery and sparkle will be splendid, but my heart yearns for some of His most perfect creations of nature to be there, too – and frankly, I’d be just as satisfied with a crown fashioned from daffodils and huge bouquets of hydrangeas everywhere. 😉
Fortunately, I have a sweet husband who knows my weakness for flowers, so he bought me some beautiful hydrangeas to plant a couple of years ago. They’re gorgeous but can be expensive! Also, very fortunately, said husband has enrolled himself in “YouTube University,” where he learns how to do everything he doesn’t know how to do – like hem pants, replace the plumbing in a bathroom remodel, and propagate hydrangeas. And his wife said, “Amen!”
So, this propagation thing is pretty cool. Jeremy took clippings from our planted hydrangeas last year – and with the magic of rooting hormone, some garden clippers, a large plastic tub, and a few pots filled with sand – started brand new plants! He also propagated some Rose of Sharon, crepe myrtle, flowering almond, rose bushes, and forsythia (which he can never remember the name of – a few days ago he called it listeria. And then said, “No, that’s what Blue Bell grows.” Hahaha! No offense, Blue Bell! We still love you and hope you get the kinks worked out of your system before it’s Peppermint Bark ice cream season!! Fingers crossed.)
Back to listeria. I mean, hydrangeas. I can only imagine that Adam had to use a somewhat similar system to propagate plants when he and Eve got themselves kicked out of the garden. Maybe even before, because Genesis 2:15 says that God put Adam in the garden to “work it and keep it.”
This process is so seriously easy – and you can get a ton of cuttings from one plant! Jeremy and I went outside for a little photo shoot last evening and, within about 15 minutes, had two new little hydrangeas potted. We want to show you guys how to do this, too. Feel free to create a little heaven-on-earth in your yard!
Let’s get started!
You will need:
*Access to a hydrangea bush with new growth on it (June, July, and August are the best times to do this – and if you don’t have a bush already, maybe a friend would let you trim a cutting?)
*Medium-sized clear plastic tub with a lid
You will start out by finding a good place on the bush to cut. You don’t want the bush to look all wonky afterwards, so be a little discrete. 😉 Cut about this much of the stem – cut it about an inch below a set of leaves.
Remove the bottom two leaves. Next, make a cut above the next set of leaves. (We trimmed the stem again, to make it closer to an inch below the set of leaves.)
Trim those leaves, cutting about half off (or a little more than half). You do need the leaves to still be able to soak up the sunshine, but you don’t need full leaves to do that. This makes more room for storing lots of planted cuttings together in the plastic tub greenhouse.
You’ll need to scrape the bottom of the stem near the leaf nodes (with the clippers or my favorite tool, your fingernails) to prompt the plant into growing roots.
Fill your pot with dampened sand and tamp it down to make sure there aren’t air pockets.
Use a dowel rod or other small, thin object (we used a wooden paintbrush) to poke a hole right in the middle of the pot filled with sand. You want to do this so that the rooting hormone stays in place on the stem.
Wet the bottom of the stem, roll it in the rooting hormone, and then tap off the excess.
Plant the cutting. Pack the sand tightly around it.
You may have enough from your hydrangea stem to make one more cutting. If so, just repeat the process again.
And then, trot them over to your homemade greenhouse – a clear plastic tub with a layer of dampened sand in the bottom. True story. You can also create a greenhouse effect by attaching a clear plastic bag over the pot. Or maybe you’re a little more upscale than us and have a real greenhouse. I’m sure that’d work fine, too. 😉
You just need some type of greenhouse effect set up (no matter how humble) because the leaves will go through a transpiration process and lose too much water and then wilt – remember, they have no established root system.
If you’re using a plastic tub, leave the lid on and place in a shaded environment, so it’s protected from the weather. You don’t want the baby plants to bake in the sun. You’ll need to water them as needed, but make sure there is no standing water in the bottom. You will notice condensation forming inside the plastic tub, which is completely normal. (If you don’t see any condensation, that’s a hint to give your cuttings a little more water.) When it’s time to plant them (spring or fall is the best), just make sure they have had time to take root and get established. After 4-5 weeks, hydrangeas should have a suitable set of roots. Yay, roots! Isn’t that amazing??
What do you think? Easy enough to try? Also, how do YOU say “hydrangeas”? I grew up saying “hyder-rainge-uhs,” but Jeremy has teased me so much that now I’ve trained myself to say “hy-drange-uhs.” Which is probably the correct way. I suppose. 😉
Great post! My hubby’s mom gave us some cuttings this spring. I can’t wait for them to grow into big girl bushes and make pretty flowers. I’ll keep this in mind for when they’re much bigger. Keep it coming!
It’s so difficult to wait on them to grow into big girl bushes! Ha! I remember that feeling! Have you heard the saying, “The first year, they sleep; the second year, they creep; the third year, they leap”?? It’s totally true! Just hang on!
I pronounce it like Jeremy! I may try this with mom’s rose bushes!
Ha! At least you’re on my side with the glitter situation! 😉 Yes, try it with roses! Jeremy said to cut the rose stems at an angle, so the rest of the rosebush won’t lose too much water out of the cut stem. Good luck!!