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How to Propagate Sterile, Hybrid, Hardy Geraniums


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The Geranium genera consists of 300 species of perennials. They have roundish, toothed leaves and five-petaled flowers in shades of pink, purple and blue. After the flowers fade, they develop long seed heads resembling a crane’s bill. This resemblance gives them their common name, cranesbill. Geraniums are hardy from USDA plant zones 2 to 11. Grow geraniums in full sun to partial shade, in moist rich soil. Most geraniums grown in gardens are hybrids. Some hybrids do not come true from seed or are sterile. The easiest way to propagate them is by division in the fall.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Gardening gloves
  • Spade
  • Knife
  • Bone meal
  • Water
    1. Cut off dead flowers, seed heads, and dead or dying foliage 4 inches from the crown. Leaving a long stem traps winter snow, helping to keep the geranium anchored in the ground.
    2. Dig up the geranium plant. Shake off excess soil. Look at the bottom off the plant to see where it naturally splits into separate crowns. Use these natural splits as a guide to where to divide your geranium. Pull the plant apart with your hands, or use a spade or knife to cut it into pieces.
    3. Immediately replant the best geranium divisions back into the garden. Add bone meal to the planting hole, using more for bigger divisions. Bone meal helps the plant grow new roots. Water the geranium divisions well to help them settle into their new home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Toss unwanted geranium divisions onto the compost pile.

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