Last updated on March 8th, 2022
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If you have a successful geranium, chances are you want to replicate that success. Once you have an established plant, you can benefit from the use of cuttings to propagate additional plants, especially in comparison to trying to overwinter a geranium, plus you get more of these stunning plants for very little cost.
Geraniums, the longer they are kept alive, lose the floriferous quality for which they’re so popular. To that end, using cuttings to propagate additional plants circumvents the issue entirely and it’s also a lot of fun seeing what you have achieved as they grow. Best of all, geranium cuttings can be taken at any time of year because they don’t have a dormancy period and they are very easy to do.
How to take cuttings
With geraniums, they have no specific dormancy and this means that you can take cuttings any time of the year. The successful growing of geraniums from those cuttings is somewhat reliant upon the compost and the light supply and of course, keeping them watered.
When you are ready to take your cuttings, take a sharp knife that has been properly sterilised (with a mixture of 9 parts bleach to 1 part water) and cut your original geranium directly above a leaf node on your main stem.
Once you have the cutting you want to trim it just below that first joint and strip off most of the leaves. When it comes to geraniums longer is not better because the healthiest part of your geranium is located at the tip, so short stumpy cuttings are going to have a higher success rate and once they get rooted properly they will grow quickly.
Growing geraniums from cuttings
Once you have your cuttings prepared it’s time to grow them. It is important to use damp, sterilised compost in individual containers or plug trays. There are plenty of containers you can use for this propagation process. If you have specific propagating materials they typically come with a base unit and a clear housing unit that sits on top of the base to create a mini greenhouse. Geranium cuttings do much better when grown on heat, which means, either placed in a heated propagator or on heating cables/mats that are specially designed to provide heat underneath plants.
In some circumstances, you can get by with nothing more than recyclable pot containers from previously purchased nursery plants that have been sterilised, or a cup with a plastic bag placed over the top.
In any case, you want to fill the pots or trays with compost and insert the cutting directly in the centre, we don’t recommend using hormone rooting power because this can cause them to rot. Place the cuttings in a location where they will get plenty of sunlight and remain moist. You don’t want them to dry out and these particular plants are actually prone to rotting if there is high humidity, so you don’t need to put the lid on your propagator or put a container or cup over the pot like you would when propagating other plants.
This is very important, don’t cover the cuttings because they will rot!
After about a month your cuttings should take root properly and you should see some new healthy white roots. After you have successfully grown your geraniums from cuttings you can transplant them into larger pots and grow them on further.
You can then keep them in your home as houseplants or plant them out into the garden once the risk of frost has passed.
Image credits – Shutterstock.com