Who doesn’t love the no-drama hydrangea in the corner of the garden that quietly produces waves of big blossoms in summer? These easy-care plants are perfect for garden beginners and experts alike. If you are looking for a new garden challenge, try growing hydrangeas from seed. Read on for information on planting hydrangea seeds and tips on how to grow hydrangea from seed.
Seed Grown Hydrangeas
It’s pretty easy to clone a hydrangea cultivar by rooting a cutting from that plant. However, you can also propagate hydrangeas by collecting and sowing hydrangea seeds. Growing hydrangeas from seed is exciting because seed grown hydrangeas are unique. They are not clones of their parent plants and you don’t really know how a seed will turn out. Each of your seed grown hydrangeas will be considered a new cultivar.
How to Grow Hydrangea from Seed
If you want to learn how to grow hydrangea from seed, the first thing you need to do is collect the seeds. It’s not as easy as you might think. Each hydrangea blossom is actually a composite of small showy, sterile flowers and tiny fertile flowers. It’s the fertile flowers that contain the seeds. Before you start planting hydrangea seeds, you’ll need to collect those seeds. Here’s how:
- Wait until a blossom begins to fade and die. Keep your eye on it and, as the flower dies, put a paper bag over it.
- Cut the stem, then let the flower head finish drying in the bag.
- After a few days, shake the bag to get the seeds out of the flower.
- Carefully pour out the seeds. Note: They are tiny and can be mistaken for dust.
You can start sowing hydrangea seeds immediately after you harvest them. Alternatively, save them in a cool place until spring and start sowing them then. In either case, surface sow the seeds in a flat filled with potting soil. Keep the soil moist and protect the seeds from cold and wind. They normally germinate in about 14 days.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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