Can this hydrangea be saved

Asked August 23, 2019, 3:39 PM EDT

A friend of mine gave me this hydrangea cutting. I planted it in the ground in partial sun and it was immediately attacked and chewed. I suspected slugs and planted a cup of beer near the plant and captured several critters. I thought it might help to move the little plant and so I carefully dug it up and planted it in a large planter. However it is not thriving and now other leaves are starting to turn brown. Am I over-watering or under-watering or doing something else wrong?

Multnomah County Oregon hydrangea

1 Response

Hydrangea cuttings do well with a little help. The goal is to get the cutting to grow roots. The process is a 5 step one. 1. take a 5-6 inch long cutting from a stem with new growth and no flower. Cut just below a leaf node. Remove the leaves from the bottom 2 leaf nodes. 3. cut largest remaining leaves by one half. 4. Dip cutting end into rooting hormone (follow directions to either dip in the powder or make a solution. 5. Place in pot with well-drained, sterile, moist soil. Use a pencil to create a hole for the cutting. Water the pot well and cover with a plastic bag to maintain humidity. Place the pot in a place out of direct sunlight. You should have new roots in a 2-3 weeks. . Spring is considered the best time to take cuttings, when the "mother" hydrangea is actively growing. This article has additional information, Hydrangea Propagation

For your cutting I would carefully remove it from the pot and see if you have roots. Repot the cutting in moist sterile seedling mix or vermiculite, cover with a plastic bag and put in a place out of direct sunlight. Hopefully, you will see growth in a couple of weeks. Once the plant is well-established keep it in a protected space through the winter and plant it in the spring.

Hydrangeas grow best in light to open shade, a spot with morning sun, but protected from afternoon heat and harsh sunlight is perfect. They like rich, porous, moist soil, do not like drying out and require regular watering.