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How to Divide Hardy Geraniums

How to divide hardy geraniums also known as Cranesbill geraniums. A simple step by step demonstration showing you how easy it is to get more of these beautiful plants.

Dragon Heart hardy geranium aka cranesbill geranium

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I love hardy geraniums planted at the feet of my roses. They work as a fantastic ground cover that chokes out weeks yet provides a bit of cover for bare bottoms of many roses.

Related: How to Grow Hardy Geraniums

They also look great as a lovely little airy bush. Some may need support to be more upright but that is another story entirely.

To save money shop your own garden for more plants that you know thrive and are beautiful all summer long then propagate them. This is also a good way to keep the Cranesbill geraniums healthy.

When to divide Hardy Geraniums aka Cranesbill Gerniums

Fall or early Spring as they begin to grow is a good time to do this. And it should be done every 3 to 5 years.

Choose a healthy well developed geranium to divide.

Rozanne hardy geranium in early Spring

Gently dig up

Start by digging around the drip line or a bit wider of the plant. This helps to get most of the roots up so you can have nice size divisions. This shovel is great for digging up and dividing plants!

Sometimes I only dig up half a plant and leave the other half in the ground but this time I did it this way.

Digging up hardy geranium plant to divide

Dig around the plant to loosen all sides.

Digging around cranesbill geranium

Gently lift the clump from the soil. You may here a pop of a main root breaking but don’t worry it will all be fine. (note: a new plant may grow from the bit of root left in the ground, that has happened to me numerous times)

Lifting a rozanne geranium from the ground with a shovel

Use garden knife or sharp spade to divide clump

Note in the photo below to the left of the garden knife tip is an intersection of leaves almost in a star shape, there are several of those and that tells me I can get several divisions. Each of those intersections can be another plant.

top of hardy geranium to divide

You can just use a sharp spade to divide the entire clump in half or quarters but I chose to divide out each intersection to get the most plants from this division.

Using my garden knife I slice between the star shape intersections. Cut all the way through past the roots.

Use garden knife or sharp spade to divide clump of hardy geranium

Separate divisions

Pull individual divisions apart, untangling the roots. This may take some firm pulling but don’t worry it will all work in the end.

Though it is a little blurry you can see a good root on this division in my hand.

Individual root division of a hardy geranium

Pot up sections

The roots of the divisions can be quite substantial so pot them up in 1 gallon cans or pots.

large root on hardy geranium division

Put some potting mix into the container and place division into pot. Fill container with more potting mix to cover roots. Water in well.

You can also plant them directly into your garden in a new location instead of in pots.

potting up root divisions of hardy geranium

Replant divisions

Though I know there are pieces of Cranesbill geranium still in the ground where this one was dug, I still replant a piece back into the same spot.

It did well here and I want to be sure that I have one in this location.

replant piece of hardy geranium back in ground

Water in well to settle all the loose soil and to give this portion a good drink.

Place the divisions you potted up into a shady spot and let them recover from shock.

Don’t be alarmed if they look wilted and puny for a few days. That is signs of shock and is perfectly normal.

Now you will have many more hardy cranesbill geraniums to grow, swap or gift away.

Now for the full length video. Please give it a thumbs up if you like!

I hope you find this helpful…until next time….

Happy Gardening!

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