Propagating Geraniums (pelargoniums) from cuttings is easy and so fun. Quickly and easily get new geraniums from you existing plants and have tons for summer baskets, containers and the garden!
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.
Though they are a perennial in zones 10-11 many grow them as annuals. But you can overwinter them in other zones. A link to how that can be done is at the end of this post.
Why Propagate Geraniums 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. Planting geraniums in a mass of color is a great way to pack a punch. Grouping a certain color also can attract hummingbirds flying over and other pollinators.
Zonal geraniums start quite easily from cuttings, 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).
Get Started Propagating Geraniums
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 when Rooting cuttings
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.
Soil Mix for Propagating Geraniums / Pelargoniums
Fill the pots with a 50/50 mix of potting soil and perlite. This makes a great draining medium for rooting. I have a great money saving DIY potting soil mix I create for most of my containers.
Take your Geranium Cuttings
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 your Cuttings 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.
(update) Some say that putting them under a dome or cover will encourage fungus. I had my first experience just recently with that. These dome lids (in the photo) have good venting so I have not usually had trouble. The last batch of cuttings I just tried I put in a less ventilated box and they did get fungus and shriveled up. So be very careful, you can just set them out with no top and keep them misted from time to time during the day.
My geraniums were well rooted in 4 weeks…
Potting up your Rooted Geranium Cuttings
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