Window boxes, borders, and beds are all adorned with vibrant geranium blooms, a perennial favorite among home gardeners.
For example, there are three kinds of hardy crane’sbills: Geranium species; Pelargonium species; and Geranium x hortorum species.
How to grow new plants from stem cuttings from existing ones is the focus of this short article.
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Preparing a Stem Cutting
Any time during the growing season is the greatest time to take a cutting, as long as the plant has a burst of new growth.
Taking cuttings in the fall before the plants fade means you’ll have fresh new plants to set out in the spring if you’re planting garden geraniums as annuals.
If you’re interested, here’s the procedure:
Make sure the stem is strong and the leaves are healthy. It’s best to steer clear of any plants that appear to have been injured or that have wilting stems.
Sharp pruners or a fine blade can be used to cut through a stem cleanly and quickly.
Four to six inches down from the tip of the stem, make an incision just below a leaf node.
Make a bare stem three to four inches long by snipping off all the lower foliage. Removing any flower or leaf buds could divert energy from root growth.
Rooting Stems in Water
Place the stem in a four- to six-inch-deep clear glass or jar.
Put just enough water in the jar to cover the stem, but not enough to wet the leaves. Fill the jar.
Use a window sill where the temperature stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep the water fresh by changing it everyday. Roots should begin to appear at the base of the stem in approximately four weeks.
Rooting in Potting Medium
A sterile potting material can be used instead of water.
Choose a container that is at least four to six inches deep and that has sufficient drainage holes.
Potting medium should be poured into the container to a depth of about half an inch below the rim. Powdered rooting hormone can be applied to the cut end of the stem if desired.
In order to ensure that all of the leaf nodes are covered by the potting medium, make a hole and insert the stem into it, making sure to push it down far enough to cover all of the leaf nodes.
To ensure that the stem is well-anchored, pack the potting material around it.
Plants should be placed in an area with an average temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as a lot of sunlight. A heat mat and a grow light are optional.
Avoid over-watering the potting soil, but don’t let it become mushy or entirely dry out.
In some cases, a clear plastic bag can be used as a little greenhouse to protect a cutting. This is a brilliant approach to ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are maintained at the proper levels.
If you decide to use this strategy, be careful not to shut the bag or expose the plant to direct sunlight.
You’ll know your cuttings are doing well when you notice roots poking through the clear container or new shoots appearing on the stems in the potting material.
The process of acclimating your potted cuttings to the outdoors, known as hardening off, can begin when the roots are one or two inches long or fresh foliar growth appears on your cuttings.
Make sure you wait until there is no risk of frost if you are taking cuttings in the fall.
For a week, leave the plants outside for a few hours every day. To begin with, keep them in a secluded area, then gradually let them out into the open. Take a day off if there is a chance of bad weather.
This week’s propagation process comes to a close with the planting of your rooted and sprouted cuttings in your garden.
Because of our frigid winters, taking cuttings from plants that can only be grown as annuals is a viable option for those of us in the Northeast.
When the earth outside is frozen solid, having a plant nursery indoors is a lot of fun.
Be prepared to run out of room for all of your geranium seedlings if you try geranium propagation!
Geraniums are a great source of cuttings. Let us know what you think in the comments.
If you’re interested in learning more about plant propagation, check out these articles:
Taking Geranium Plant Cuttings
Geraniums can be started from cuttings in a jiffy. Geraniums have the advantage of having no dormant period. Because they grow all year long, they may be propagated at any time of year, unlike other plants, which require a specific period of year to do so. However, it is advisable to wait for a lull in the blooming cycle of the plant.
Geranium cuttings should be taken immediately above a node or swollen section of the stem with a pair of sharp shears.
By making a cut here, you’ll urge the mother plant to produce more new growth. Aim for a length of 4 to 6 inches from the leafy tip to the base of the new node on your new cutting (10-15 cm.). Remove all but the tips of the leaves. Those are the seeds you’ll need to get started with.
Rooting Cuttings from Geranium Plants
Geranium plant cuttings take root readily and don’t require the use of herbicides or fungicides, therefore complete success is doubtful. Place your cutting in a pot of warm, damp potting soil that has been sterilized with bleach. Place the pot in a well-ventilated area, but out of direct sunlight. Geranium plant cuttings are prone to decaying if the pot is covered.
To keep the soil from drying out, water the pot as needed. A week or two after planting your geranium cuttings, they should have sprouted.
Three days in the open air before planting your cuttings in the ground is recommended. As a result of this, the non-sterile cut tip will develop a callus that will help protect it from fungal growth and decomposition.