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Starting Geraniums From Cuttings


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Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) are favorite flowering plants for flowerbeds, borders, containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. The seed pods resemble a stork’s bill with an elongated tip. There are over 200 types of geraniums offering a variety of colors, growing habits, leaf patterns and scents. The flowers are white, pink, salmon, red, fuchsia and lavender. Geraniums are commonly propagated either from seeds or cuttings. Geranium cuttings create a copy or clone of the parent plant.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Clay pot 3-inches
  • Plant pot 6- to 8-inches
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Electric drill
  • Screen mesh
  • Cork
  • Vermiculite
  • Geranium parent plant
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Spray bottle
  • Clear plastic bag
    1. Wash a small 3-inch clay plant pot and a 6- to 8-inch container in soapy water. Rinse both containers in a mixture of one part bleach and nine parts water. Drill holes in the larger container with an electric drill if there are no drainage holes. Cover the drainage holes with a screen mesh.
    2. Seal the bottom of the clay plant pot with a cork. This is used as a water reservoir and the water will seep out through the sides of the clay plant pot. Set the small plant pot in the center of the larger one and surround it with vermiculite.
    3. Cut 2- to 3-inch long stem pieces with a sharp knife. The best cuttings are the taken at the end of the stems and are without flower buds. Remove the bottom half of the stem of leaves. Dip the cut end into 1/2 inch of rooting hormone. Slide the cuttings 1 1/2 inches deep into the vermiculite.
    4. Fill the small clay pot with water and spray the cuttings with water. Place a clear plastic bag over the top of the cuttings. Puff the bag up so that it does not touch the leaves. Place the geranium cuttings in a warm area with indirect light.
    5. Refill the small clay pot when the water level drops. Remove the bag when new growth begins, which signals the establishment of roots. Move the cuttings into an area with filtered sunlight. Once vigorous growth begins, transplant the cuttings into their permanent home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pinch dead or fading flowers off blossoming geranium plants. Deadheading promotes the growth of new blossoms and prevents the formation of seed pods.

  • Do not let the geranium plants dry out and wilt. Cycles of wilting and heavy watering causes leaf drop and slow growth.

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