Making Geranium Cuttings: How To Start And Root A Geranium Cutting

Do you have trouble with geranium cuttings?

I did when I first became interested in propagating this plant for winter bloom.

Growing Geranium CuttingsPin

I had read that the cuttings should be left lying about for several hours to allow the sap to drain before planting and that after planting, they should be kept “on the dry side.”

I practiced what I read. The leaves on my cuttings collapsed and stayed that way.

Stems turned black and mushy—the very condition the method I used was supposed to prevent. Only a forlorn few managed to take root.

Now, my mother has consistently grown geraniums and, to start new plants, simply breaks off branches and sticks them down in the pot with the old plant, where they flourish without special consideration.

So, suspicious of the modern advice I had read, I decided to ignore it—and I got perfect results.

Ways To Start And Root A Geranium Cutting

I took cuttings at the beginning of May from plants that had been conditioned by as much outdoor exposure to sun and fresh air as possible during the previous several weeks.

I chose properly hardened young growth, cutting just below the fourth or fifth joint from the tip.

I like short-jointed cuttings because they promise bushy, low-branched plants.

I clipped off all but 3 or 4 leaves at the top of each cutting, treated them with a rooting powder (one modern touch I heartily endorse), and immediately planted them two joints deep in 5-inch pots of sandy soil, 6 cuttings to a pot.

It was a cool, cloudy day, and I set the pots outside in light, misty rain.

I kept the cuttings on an east porch where they got some early morning sun daily and watered them whenever the soil’s surface got dry—just as I do to the established plants. 

They never wilted, and the pots were filled with roots in a month.

I carefully separated the plants then and potted them singly in 5-inch pots.

They allow plants to develop to a good, convenient size, capable of sustained flowering.

I don’t adhere to a strict soil formula, but my mixture consists of three parts of good garden soil, one of leaf mold, and one-half of sand.

When the plants had become established after transplanting, I put them on the ground east of the house.

The morning sun is sufficient in summer, and my plants got a little shade during the morning also from a thinly branched hickory tree.

Feeding with a complete garden fertilizer ½ teaspoonful to a 5-inch pot in July and again in September kept them thriving.

I didn’t have to prune to get well-branched plants. Removing the many summer flower buds produced by plants growing as they should have the same effect.

As the autumn sun became less intense, I moved my plants to a southern exposure to remain until the time to take them indoors.

42813 by Richard Leon Spain