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How to Divide Hydrangeas

Looking for ways to grow and enjoy more hydrangeas for free? Wait until you see how easy it is to divide hydrangeas and grow your garden without spending a dime!

While there are a few ways to propagate hydrangeas, this post will show you how to divide hydrangeas.

Did You Know Hydrangeas Could Be Divided?

Last week, I was walking the gardens with my dogs.

While touring the beds, I started inspecting the hydrangeas to see how they are leafing out and filling in this spring.

I’m hoping that this year’s everblooming variety will bloom better than it did last year.

To learn what happened to my everblooming hydrangeas last year, click here.

Anyway, while inspecting the plants, I noticed one of the shrubs looked like it sprouted a few baby sections.

I saw three smaller clumps from the main plant.

This means I have additional plants that are attached to the main hydrangea that I planted several years ago.

Now, I could just leave them be and allow them to stay with the mother plant.

But this is a great way to grow my garden and get more stock for FREE!

And I’m all about free stuff when it comes to gardening!

To be clear, I have never done this before but free plants are always worth trying something new.

I did a quick google search to see if this was indeed a thing and I found a bunch of search results so, I was totally doing this!

So much like dividing a perennial, I grabbed a shovel and started digging out the baby hydrangeas.

Not gonna lie – digging through those roots was not easy but it was worth the effort.

Here’s how I did it!

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Close up of Endless Summer Hydrangea - Why Aren't My Hydrangeas Blooming
This is the everblooming hydrangea I divided and replanted in another area of my yard.

Supplies Needed to Divide Hydrangeas

Not much is needed to divide and replant hydrangeas. It is likely you have most of these supplies on hand, but in case you don’t, here is a good list of items to keep in your garden shed.

I use them all the time with various gardening activities so they are worth the minimal investment.

Close up of limelight hydrangeas planted en masse -How to Divide Hydrangeas
Gorgeous hedge planting of Hydrangea Paniculata (belongs to a neighbor).

How to Divide Hydrangeas

If you are unfamiliar with how to divide a plant, click here to learn the basics.

While not difficult to do, this does require a little more effort than dividing perennials.

Close up of limelight hydrangea - How to Divide Hydrangeas

I jumped on the shovel to help slice through the thicker roots.

Do what you can to salvage as much of the root ball as possible. The less damage to the root ball, the easier it will be to establish the transplant.

  • Grab your garden supplies.
  • While you don’t have to wear garden gloves, I recommend wearing them. They will help you grip the shovel and protect your hands from blisters.
  • Start digging with the shovel around the base of the baby clump. I prefer to start with the outside of the plant and work my way in.
  • Use your body weight if needed to dig through and under the roots. The roots can be pretty tough though, so don’t be shy about jumping on the shovel to dig down and slice through some of the thicker roots. Try to salvage as much of the root ball you can. The more protected the roots are, the easier it will be to acclimate to it’s new location.
  • Dig around the base of the clump in a circle and use a lifting motion when digging under the plant to start separating it from the mother plant. This will help loosen the roots and lift the clump out.
  • Use a pitchfork to get underneath and help lift the root ball out.
  • Continue digging and lifting. It took me about 10-15 minutes to get two clumps out but was well worth the effort. I got FREE plants now!
  • Immediately replant the baby clumps in another area then water it. In general, hydrangeas prefer morning light and afternoon shade.
  • Since this is a transplant, keep an eye on it after planting. Make sure the leaves stay healthy as they fill out. The plant will likely show some signs of stress while it takes time to acclimate in its new home. Do not fertilize it. Only back fill the garden hold with good healthy garden soil. Add soil amendments like compost, manure and peat moss if the bag of garden soil doesn’t have it mixed in.
  • Do not expect much out of the transplants this season while they devote their energy to developing a good root system. As long as the plant continues to leaf out and stays green, they will be fine. With gardening, good things come to those who wait.
  • For more detailed information on hydrangeas and their care see Why Aren’t My Hydrangeas Blooming and Why Aren’t My Hydrangeas Blooming Update.
  • To watch the video tutorial about how I divided this hydrangea, check out my IGTV here.

For additional information on dividing hydrangeas see the University of Georgia’s Extension and Oregon State University Extension articles.

Close-up of hyrangea paniculata in bloom - Why Aren't My Hydrangeas Blooming
Hydrangea Paniculata

What Do You Think?

Isn’t that so cool?

I really hope this works. Google search results sound pretty positive, so I’m going to keep an eye on them like I would any other new transplant and hope for the best!

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not expecting much from it this season.

And I’d rather it doesn’t flower this season anyway so that it focuses on developing a good healthy root system in its new home.

limelight hydrangea with callicarpa in the fall gardenShrub Garden Ideas
The limelight hydrangea I planted in the well garden last fall is starting to fill in nicely. I’m hoping to propagate this one by layering a branch in the ground.


The plants are doing well. They had green leaves all season long, so the transplant worked.

I’m so excited to watch them grow!

Limelight hydrangea in fall with flowers Shrub Garden Ideas
The newly planted limelight hydrangea I planted in fall before it goes dormant.

More About Hydrangeas


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close up of an endless summer hydrangea
close up of endless summer hydrangea
formal garden with hydrangeas How to Divide Hydrangeas

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  1. I am going to try this next year for sure! It’s getting a little too warm now. Thank you so much for the tips Stacy!

    1. Yeah I hope mine make it – we are having erratic weather now. I think I just heard snow? what???