Propagating Geraniums (pelargoniums) from cuttings
Propagating geraniums has got to be one of the easiest to do from cuttings. Actually these plants are pelargoniums not true geraniums (click here to visit my How to Grow Hardy Geraniums post) but this is what most of us in the US know pelargoniums by.
Why Start from Cuttings
I enjoy starting geraniums from seed especially to get varieties you cannot find in garden centers but I also have a ton of fun starting more plants from cuttings to get clones of the parent plant.
Zonal geraniums start quite easily making them a great one for beginners to get a taste of success in propagating from cuttings.
The benefit of cloning is you get the exact same plant as the parent where as with seeds you may have saved you are not quite certain. The plant may have cross pollinated with another and you get a surprise (which can be fun too).
Start with a nice, healthy plant. Take a cutting from a fresh, green branch just below a leaf node. Cut with something clean and very sharp, like sharp pruners, razor or xacto knife. It is important that you take the cutting from a new, green branch.
Old crusty branch below….not what you want.
Clean is Important
I have my pots ready to roll. These have all been washed in hot soapy water with a touch of bleach, then rinsed well and air dried.
Fill the pots with a 50/50 mix of potting soil and perlite. This makes a great draining medium for rooting.
With your pruners take a cutting about 4 to 5 inches long and leave two healthy leaves on them. When you put the stem into the pot make sure two leaf nodes are covered by the soil mix.
Water well and press the soil firmly around the cutting. Rooting hormone or cloning gel is not needed with zonal geraniums. They do just fine without.
Keep them moist
Cover your tray with a clear lid, these planting trays with dome lids are great but I also use a glass fish tank. Check out how I do that here in this post…Propagating Lilacs
Keep your cuttings at a moderate temperature and in bright light. I have mine in my greenhouse but you can put them under lights in the house as well.
My geraniums were well rooted in 4 weeks…
Move em on Up
Carefully pop these out of the small pots and pot them up into larger pots using a good potting medium. As they get larger harden them off and get them used to outdoor conditions.
You can do this by setting them outside in larger intervals of time over a two week period. They should be in a sheltered spot with morning sun, afternoon shade or in light shade.
For an easy link to supplies you may need in my Amazon Shop please click here