Thursday, 11 August 2016

Taking Geranium Cuttings

These beautiful plants are really pelargoniums, but they have come to be known as geraniums and grace many gardens and municipal walkways in summer.

Now is the time to take cuttings to ensure continuity for next year. They are easy to propagate and it's fun to do. Just cut off a suitable piece from a healthy plant and remove all flower heads and excess leaves. This allows the cutting to establish roots quickly. This is what I started with:

and this is what I ended up with:

If you want to, you can dob the end of the cutting in some hormone rooting powder, but I don't bother. I find that they root perfectly well without it. Next push the cutting into a small pot with some compost in it and water. If you use a large pot, you can put several cuttings around the edge. I do both. During the wintertime, I get most sun at the front of the house in the evenings and that winter also has the largest window ledge so I can fit almost twelve little pots along there and keep an eye on them during the colder months.  There cuttings will be big enough by next April to put out in the border.

You will need to water when the pot is dry, but don't over-water and keep an eye on the leaves. Sometimes you bring them in with a small caterpillar on the leaf and if you don't remove it, then it will munch away until all the leaves are gone and the caterpillar is fat! Put the caterpillar back in the garden to dessimate something which doesn't matter so much. It's a good idea to label the pots with the colour the flowers will eventually turn out to be. I usually take three slips of each colour.

Here is a mixed pot of cuttings:

This year I am taking cuttings of white, pink, peach and red geraniums. We'll see later how they do.

Happy gardening!