Can We Split or Divide Hydrangeas?

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By Ashley Hanson

Updated: Apr 15, 2024

8 min read

Can You Divide Hydrangeas
Photo: @premierpoolsandspas / @gardenplanning

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    Hydrangeas are a beautiful addition to the garden and loved by homeowners for all good reasons, such as colorful blooms in white, purple, blue, and pink, minimal maintenance, availability in different shapes and styles, gorgeous foliage, and long blooming period. The maintenance of hydrangeas depends on whether the soil pH range remains within acceptable range and pests are kept away from the plant.

    Hydrangeas thrive in moist soil and partial shading, making them an ideal shading shrub for your garden. The most common issue with hydrangeas is overcrowding, i.e., they outgrow their space, losing their beauty and competing for resources. If you plan to add more hydrangeas to the garden, it’ll cost you a lot, so the best option is to divide hydrangeas and enhance the beauty of the garden with multiple hydrangeas. Let’s try to resolve a common query: “Can you divide hydrangeas?”

    Also Read: Effective Ways to Kill Grass in Flower Bed

    Why Should You Divide Hydrangeas?

    There are several reasons to divide hydrangeas, and a few of them are discussed below:

    Add Multiple Plants in an Economic Way

    Devide Hydrangeas into Multiple Plants
    Photo: @themarvelousmrsmccartney

    Buying plants for the garden could be costly, but dividing them and increasing the number is an affordable way to expand the garden landscaping with beautiful plants without spending too much.

    Ensures Better Plant Health

    Healthy Hydrangeas
    Photo: @naaassstya

    As plants grow, it results in overcrowding affecting the plant’s health. Dividing hydrangeas will ensure robust growth.

    Better Blooming

    Purple and Pink Hydrangeas
    Photo: @emelyne.mead

    Division of hydrangeas stimulates new growth and better blooms.

    The Process is Easy and Affordable

    The dividing process is quite easy and cost-effective because it’s a DIY project that doesn't require professional help and special tools.

    Which Variety of Hydrangeas Can You Split?

    Big leaf, oakleaf, and smooth hydrangeas can be propagated by division, whereas panicle hydrangeas and climbing hydrangeas are not easy to divide.

    Materials Required to Divide Hydrangeas

    You don’t need too many tools to divide and replant hydrangeas. You can find them at home.

    • Spade Shovel
    • Garden Fork
    • Garden Gloves
    • Garden Soil
    • Your Effort

    How to Hand Divide Hydrangeas?

    Hand diving is an economical way to accomplish the dividing project. Begin the process by wearing gloves for better grip and protection from blisters while removing the roots, followed by trimming the excess growth of plants, damaged roots, or broken stems using a spade or a shovel. Ensure that you dig a shovel at least two feet away from the root and pry the plant out from the ground. Lift the root ball using a garden fork to avoid mishaps. If the roots are thick, use your body weight by jumping on the shovel to dig down.

    How to Hand Divide Hydrangeas
    Photo: @sainiplanthome

    The next step is to check the root system and look out for sections from where the plant can be separated, especially the place where stems emerge from the root crown. Gently separate the sections using a hand or a tool, but make sure each section has sufficient healthy roots. The best weather to divide hydrangeas is spring, just before the new growth begins.

    Tips to Follow When Dividing Hydrangeas

    • Water the plant a day before you plan to divide them to loosen the soil around the roots to help you pry them easily.
    • To avoid stress to the plant during division, select mild weather, preferably overcast.
    •  Avoid tearing and breaking of roots when separating the plants.
    • Avoid over-pruning for quick recovery.
    • Try to maintain a perfect balance, i.e avoid removing too many roots or too less for robust and fast growth.

    Method to Replant Hydrangeas Divisions

    • Spot the perfect location suitable for the specific species of hydrangeas, preferably well-drained soil, partial shade and protection from strong wind.
    • Make sure the hole is as big as the root ball and it is deep enough to adjust the root system.
    • Provide sufficient nutrients to plants by adding compost to the planting soil for robust growth.
    • Plant the new division gently into the hole in an upright and centered position, fill the hole with soil, and press it lightly.
    • Maintain the mixture in the soil and ensure water soaking to help the soil settle down.
    • Add organic mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and keep weeds away.
    • Keep an eye on the replanted hydrangea for a month and monitor its growth.


    When to Divide Hydrangeas?

    It should be in early spring when new buds are just starting to swell and open up along the stems and the second best time is in the mid-late fall.

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