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The climbing hydrangea (botanical: Hydrangea petiolaris) is one of the most flowering plants and adorns boring walls, pergolas or privacy screens. Because they are perennial, can grow enormously high and are considered robust, they are not exactly cheap to buy. Here it is worth using plant parts from your own or a neighboring specimen for propagation. With the right instructions, it doesn't take much effort. The most important details can be found below.

propagation in detail

In order to be able to propagate a climbing hydrangea, it is necessary that the right parts of the plant are available at the right time. Climbing hydrangeas can be propagated in four different ways:


Source: Salicyna, Hydrangea petiolaris 2022-04-14 6926, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Shoots are referred to as cuttings, which, as so-called shoot parts, make up the above-ground growth pattern of a climbing hydrangea and increase the volume of a plant. The shoot parts represent the connection of the root shoots for the leaves and flowers, so that they can be supplied. Cuttings are able to exist without attachment to the mother plants if done properly. It is important for cuttings that they are watered regularly so that there is always a slight moisture content. Even the smallest drying can end the propagation project.

Best propagation time

The best time to propagate a climbing hydrangea using cuttings is between July and August. For the cuttings, the Hydrangea petiolaris should have flowered, which is usually the case in June or early July. In the summer months, the shoots had enough time to thrive and “soak up” energy. When the flowers close, more nutrients shoot into the shoots of the climbing hydrangea, giving them the best conditions for propagation.

instructions for propagation

  • Cut 15 cm long cuttings
  • Cutting must be one year old, but have mature wood
  • Cut off the tip of the shoot
  • Cut the shoot diagonally directly under a pair of leaves (use a sharp tool)
  • Separate the bottom pair of leaves and all but two or three pairs of other leaves
  • Put the cutting five centimeters in a pot with suitable soil (potting soil or coconut soil are ideal)
  • casting
  • Put the translucent foil over it (should not touch plant parts)
  • Remove/open foil once or twice a day to air and water
  • Keep soil evenly moist (avoid waterlogging)
  • Location: warm, sunny
  • Root formation after about three weeks - remove foil
  • When new leaves appear and a root system has formed, plant in a nutrient-rich substrate

Tip: Transplanting into a nutrient-rich substrate should be done in a pot, because it will have to be rearranged for the winter. (see "Winter storage")


An offshoot is a side shoot that forms directly on the main shoot of the mother plant. Also known as Kindel, they always grow near the ground or just below the surface, but where they quickly emerge from the ground. In appearance they resemble the mother plant in mini format and can already be considered as an independent plant. Accordingly, the chance that the propagation will succeed is high.

Source: Salicyna, Hydrangea petiolaris 2022-04-30 8916, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Best propagation time

The ideal time to use a side shoot of the climbing hydrangea for propagation is during the main growth period from May after the Ice Saints. It should not be planted later than August because it needs sufficient time to settle in the ground before the first frost.

Since climbing hydrangeas grow slowly in the first few years of life, patience can be required. The best chance of finding an offshoot is with an older climbing hydrangea. If a Kindel is "produced" itself, as described above, the shoot should remain in the ground for a year in order to be able to form sufficient (strong) roots. This means that the planting time is only given in the following year.

instructions for propagation

  • Cut off the branches directly on the main stem of the mother plant (use a sharp knife)
  • Remove lower leaves
  • Plant in nutrient-rich substrate or garden soil enriched with compost
  • Planting depth depending on Kindel length: five to ten centimeters
  • Press the soil down well
  • Water moderately and keep evenly moist throughout without overwatering

Tip: Only use cuttings from a healthy and vigorous mother plant. As long as they are connected to the mother plant, diseases also move in here, weakening the offshoot and can greatly reduce the chance of reproduction.


If you do not want to wait until an offshoot forms naturally, you can take the formation of a sinker into your own hands as described below:

  • Bend the growing shoot downwards
  • Dig an indentation channel in the soil (about three to four inches deep and four inches long
  • Weight the shoot with a heavier object in front of the indentation (ensures that the shoot stays in position)
  • Defoliate the drive part to be inserted and score several times with a sharp knife or blade
  • Place the shoot in the indentation in such a way that the tip of the shoot is about ten centimeters long above the ground
  • Place soil over the channel and press down lightly
  • Also weigh down the shoot tip or anchor it to the ground with tent pegs
  • Pour moderately and keep evenly moist
  • Small roots form

Best propagation time

The most suitable time for propagation with a sinker is from April to June. During this time they usually sprout. The bloom does not affect the robustness or "chance of survival" of sinkers.

instructions for propagation

  • Separate sinkers from mother stem
  • Carefully lift out of the ground
  • Cut off the remaining shoots in front of and behind the rooted area
  • Plant the root part in the ground like a normal climbing hydrangea
  • Press down the soil lightly and water moderately

Propagation by flowering shoots

When climbing hydrangeas are in full bloom, some are used as cut flowers. It is not uncommon for roots to form after standing in water for a long time. This is theoretically a situation that makes propagation possible. Unfortunately, it mostly stays with the theory, because from a practical point of view, the chances of "tackling" are poor. Propagation success has more to do with luck than with professional propagation. Therefore, this propagation method is not recommended, but can of course be tried, especially if the cut flowers have already developed roots that may not have been intended.

Best propagation time

As soon as the climbing hydrangea blooms, multiplication in the water can begin. This means that a time frame between May and June is available. If it starts to flower earlier because of higher temperatures, the flowers should not be cut off, because any frost/night frost can weaken the mother plant and thus the chances of rooting in water are even lower.

instructions for propagation

  • Cut off the fresh flowering stem (about ten centimeters long)
  • Cut about two centimeters below the flower
  • Cut off the end of the blossomless shoot at an angle
  • Separate the lower leaves - at least one pair of leaves must remain
  • Fill a translucent glass with lime-free water and place the shoot in it
  • Water level: maximum below the first pair of leaves
  • Location: warm, bright but no direct sunlight
  • Change water daily
  • First roots: after about seven days
  • As soon as the first leaves form, you can plant in substrate

Tip: The water glass method carries a high risk of soaking and/or rotting, especially if the shoot remains in the water for too long after rooting. It is therefore advisable to keep a close eye on any leaf formation of the climbing hydrangea so that it can be planted quickly in the substrate and the chances of successful propagation increase.


While sinkers and kindles are strong enough to spend the winter outdoors, cuttings as young plants should spend their first winter in frost-free temperatures. The young climbing hydrangea can go outside again from mid-May after the ice saints, when night frosts are no longer to be expected.

The ideal winter quarters look like this:

  • Ambient temperature between five and eight degrees Celsius
  • Bright
  • draft protected

Tip: When the climbing hydrangea gets its final location in the garden or balcony tub in the second year of life, you should add mature mixed compost or similarly nutrient-rich fertilizers so that it gets an ideal start.

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