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Propagating & Splitting Perennial Geraniums


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The perennial, or hardy geranium, is commonly called cranesbill geranium. The name refers to this plant’s seed head, which is in the shape of the bird’s beak. Perennial geraniums flower from late spring through early summer, producing blooms in blue and several shades of red. Hardy geraniums appear as more than 200 species of variable height ranging from 6 inches to 2 ½ feet. Divide geraniums in spring to rejuvenate them whenever the plants lose their vigor. Use the same technique to propagate them.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Shovel
  • Shears
  • Water
    1. Dig around the geranium’s drip line when the plant begins to grow in the spring. A plant’s drip line corresponds to the reach of its outermost branch. As you rotate around the plant, dig deeper until you reach under the geranium’s root system.
    2. Lift the plant out of its hole with your shovel. Place it on the soil surface in the shade.
    3. Cut the perennial geranium into smaller clumps of roots and foliage. Guillotine the plant with your shovel’s blade or use a knife.
    4. Pick at the section that used to be the center of the plant with your fingers. Remove and discard old, dried-up stems. Prune broken and discolored roots. Place the divisions’ roots in water and continue to keep them in the shade.
    5. Dig new holes or expand the old one. Replant the geranium divisions at the same depth as they were growing before.
    6. Irrigate the transplanted divisions to the root zone. Continue to keep the soil moist until you notice new growth. At that point, reduce water to weekly root-zone soakings.

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