I used to spend hundreds of dollars each year to fill my garden containers with geraniums. But now I plant new starts from the cuttings of existing geraniums plants. Not only are geraniums easy to maintain and grow, but they are also easy to propagate. Here are some tips to start new geranium plants from cuttings.
How to Start Geranium Cuttings
Make sure you are using a pair of pruners or a knife that is clean and very sharp. Cut the stem off the plant, just above a node, or leaf joint. This will encourage new growth on the mother plant.
Trim this new cutting to just below the node, about 3-5 inches long. Remove the lower leaves, flowering stems and scales at the base of the leaf stalks, leaving at least two leaves at the top.
Choose a Grow Container
If you are planting your starts individually, I recommend using a 3″ pot. You can also use a larger 5″ pot and plant several geraniums together in the same container. It is important to clean your pots with hot and soapy water, with a touch of bleach. Rinse and air dry before using.
Plant the New Starts
When starting geranium cuttings, I do not use rooting hormones for two reasons. First, because geraniums are easy to root. And secondly, rooting hormones can cause root rot.
Stick the cutting into the container, filled with damp, fresh seed compost. Press the soil firmly around the start, and cover the two bottom nodes with soil. Water thoroughly, and place in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight. If you are planting several cuttings together in one container, make sure you remove any plants that start to turn brown and unhealthy. This will keep the diseased start from spreading to the others.
Provide the Right Environment
Provide good light, a warm setting and warmth underneath if you can. This will help the roots grow more quickly. There is a higher success rate when using heat, such as a heat mat. Do not put a plastic lid over the starts, as the roots are prone to rotting in high humidity. Keep the geranium cuttings moist at all times, never letting the cuttings dry out. Adding plant food to the compost will enhance flowering and foliage growth.
The geranium cuttings should root anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Visit my blog Shiplap and Shells for more information on hardening and how to overwinter your geraniums.