Friday 21 January 2011

Taking Geranium cuttings

Last year I bought a couple of Geranium plants from my local garden centre. When I got them they were already mature plants, with several flowers open, and to be honest I chose the plants more than anything else by the colour of thier blooms. I wasn't particularly interested in what variety they were - I just wanted a bit of quick colour in my otherwise fairly drab veg plot. I bought one red and one pink.

Both plants did well, but the pink one was spectacular. At one stage I counted 20 blooms on it simultaneously

When it came to Autumn I decided to keep this top-performing plant and not discard it as I might otherwise have done. So I trimmed off a lot of the mature growth and got it ready for Winter. The trouble is I don't have anywhere that is really good for over-wintering plants. The only place I have that is OK-ish is the garage (which is part of the main structure of my house, so remains at a decent temperature all the time, and never gets frosted). The garage has a side window which lets in a bit of light, but not a lot, because it is screened by the brick wall which separates my property from the road. Anyway, it's the best I've got so I have positioned an old bedroom cabinet next to the window and on this I keep a few frost-tender plants that I'm trying to protect - including the geranium.

Being kept in these conditions the pink geranium has obviously not had enough light. Although it has produced a lot of new leaves, they are mostly very pale indeed, and some of them are almost what you might call "variegated" - with some dark bits and some light bits.

Today I decided I would take some cuttings and try to re-propagate the plant.

I saw that amongst the jumble of pale new leaves the plant had a number of quite long healthy-looking shoots

Using sharp secateurs I cut off four of these shoots, about  15cm / 6" long. I removed almost all the leaves and trimmed the ends of the shoots neatly, just below a leaf-joint (this is apparently where most of the relevant root hormones or whatever lurk).

Sometimes when rooting cuttings like this I dip them in proprietary hormone rooting powder and then push them into some moist compost in a small pot. This time I have decided to try to root them simply in a jam-jar of water. They will probably start putting out roots within a week or 10 days. When / if they do, I will then transfer them to individual pots filled with compost.

These are now living on the kitchen windowsill. I'll let you know how they do... perhaps by the Summer I will have four more star perfomers.


  1. Wish our garage was frost free!

    If you have some more material that you can take cuttings from try just popping them straight in compost rather than water first as geraniums often don't like to be too damp. In fact some gardeners take the cuttings and leave them for a few minutes to 'dry up' before popping them in compost.

  2. I love pelargoniums, they are the most rewarding easy to grow plants, especially here where most of them originate from. I take cuttings, nip off a few leaves and stick them straight into the soil. They all flourish with no further attention. I read somewhere that cuttings take better planted towards the outside of the pot rather than the centre. Why - I can't remember. As I mentioned here they grow with the greatest of ease and even total neglect does not harm them.

  3. Great choice! I've found these are really easy to root (and sometimes it is the only way to get an ungainly plant looking nice again).

  4. Mother plant looks like a zonal pelargonium. Ours root and bloom when I just lay the cuttings on the ground. (You were meant to be MULCH). You could also try this

  5. This is one of the better articles I have seen about taking geranium cuttings. Very practical advice and the photos are helpful.

  6. Good luck Mark! I am really regretting that the cuttings I took from mine took but then died back last Autumn...

  7. I took a few cuttings last year and potted them out in a cloche; about half of them are viable. I've had them out in the garden in their containers for about a fortnight and already two of them have got a stalk and flower buds growing. I'm very pleased with my efforts.


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