Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fight That Trouble in "Paradise"

I was minding my own business in my garden. I was standing at the edge of the patio, one foot on the grass, staring at the flowers, thinking about some editing I had to do when a wasp flew up -- totally unprovoked and stung me on the elbow.

Mind you, I am the one who planted the flowers this wasp is continually buzzing around. I'm the one who feeds and waters the flowers so they are nice and flowery for whatever the wasp wants from them. Yet, he stung me.

I could feel the poison moving up my arm and it started to swell.  My hand turned slightly blue and went a bit numb. This made me mad, so I decided to clean out the hummingbird feeder. I put on  my gloves because I don't like touching the ants that crawl on the feeder, and a thorn lodged in the thick leather cut my other hand.

This made me madder.  After cleaning and refilling the hummingbird and picking the wandering ants from it off my neck and shoulders (don't ask me how they got there!) I decided to fight the evil forces and air root some hydrangeas.

My daughter recently described this process in her blog. Here's a bit more info and some pictures.

Hydrangeas are easy to air root.

Find a branch that is close to the ground. Better yet if it is already sort of curved or bent. Gently pick off the leaves around the place on the branch (mid branch).

Make a tiny slit in the downward side of the curve of the branch at one of the junctures where you just pulled off the leaves.
In the picture above, if you look closely, you can see the slit I made in the green part of the branch.
Wet this with water.

Sprinkle on Rooting Hormone which can be purchased at any garden center.

Put the powdered, slit section of the branch into the dirt and cover it with a bit of dirt. Put a rock on it to keep it there and to help you remember what you did.

Water all summer.
this climbing hydrangea was climbing along the ground and already forming roots.  I'm helping things along with the rooting hormone and the rocks.

Roots will grow.
Here you can see roots forming on the branch! 

In the fall, or if you forget -- in the spring -- cut the branch away from the "mother" plant and dig up the new hydrangea. Lots of roots will have formed and if you transplant it and take care of it, you'll have a healthy bush in no time.

When I do this, I usually plant the baby hydrangea in a plastic pot that can be left out all winter.  I water it and watch it. It grows in this semi-sheltered environment and then is ready to be transplanted to the garden when it is a bit bigger.
one of my plant "nurseries"

You can flower your entire garden by with hydrangeas this way and enjoy blooms of brilliant blue and poignant pink and purple in the garden, and bring bountiful, beautiful bouquets inside, thereby creating a bit of heaven.
And now, my arm feels better.


  1. I love this! Thank you for teaching this to me. I'm going to do it, and I'm pretty excited about it! There are few plants from which I reap grateful satisfaction from than the hydrangea. It offers leafy-filler, beautiful colorful flowers, reasonable height, and above all, low maintenance!! P.S. sorry about the "problem z raju"

  2. Well- look on the bright side- it could have been a snakie in the garden!! :)