Frugal Garden: How To Take Geranium Cuttings

Three inch geranium cuttings in plain water in an opaque container.

Increasing your plant stock by propagating from cuttings is a perfect way to keep your favourite annual varieties from year to year, while also saving money. I had a tall, white geranium that somehow got overwatered in the fall. Yesterday I was watering it and the plant keeled over in the pot, exposing what was left of a dead root system that had rotted away. Oops.

Luckily, Geraniums (Latin Name: Pelargoniums) are very drought resistant, and the growing tips on the plant were still hale and hearty. There were five end tips and I cut them with a sharp kitchen shear. Rooting these cuttings will save part of the plant, while possibly making even more if all the cuttings take root. It’s not the perfect time of year for cuttings—March would be even better—but early February isn’t bad. Days have gotten a bit longer (Hurray!) , so it is a natural time for indoor plants to start making new growth.

Super Easy Steps to take cuttings of Geraniums or other Houseplants

1. Cut 3″ cuttings from growing tips of geranium with sharp knife or shears. (approx 7cm)

2. Let cut dry for 24 hours to make a callus. Place leafy end inside plastic bag to retain moisture, while ends stick out. Forming a callus is the cuttings’ first step in root growth, so doing this step increases your success.

4. Place cuttings in water in an opaque container in a warm bright location. Under flourescent lights is perfect, or on a north facing windowsill. No direct sun.

5. In a few weeks, when roots have formed, gently pot cuttings up in moistened soilless mix, like ProMix. Place each cutting in its own pot, no bigger than 4″ wide. Keep in bright location, out of direct sun for a few more weeks. Gradually you can move the rooted plant into full sun and use to fill up your window boxes in spring.

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