How to Grow & Propagate a Geranium Plant

Overview

Geraniums grow well in both containers and in garden beds, although bedded plants are often grown as annuals as they are not winter-tolerant. Caring for your geraniums throughout both the warm and cold months allows you to keep the plants alive as perennials, although they likely will still need to be replaced every three to five years. Growing and propagating geraniums in the home garden is not difficult and gardeners of any skill level can find success with these plants.

Growing Geraniums

Step 1

Fill a 12-inch diameter pot or larger with a quality potting mix or till a 2-inch layer of compost into the garden bed prior to planting to ensure the proper drainage is provided.

Step 2

Place potted geraniums in a sunny window or outdoors in an area where they will receive six to eight hours of sun daily. Plant bedded geraniums in full-sun garden beds.

Step 3

Water container-planted geraniums when the soil surface begins to feel dry and before the plants begin yellowing or wilting. Water from the top until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot. Water garden geraniums once a week, providing 1 to 2 inches of water at each irrigation.

Step 4

Fertilize container plants once monthly throughout the spring and summer garden season with a soluble houseplant fertilizer, following label application instructions. Fertilize bedded geraniums with 1 tbsp. of a 5-10-5 fertilizer per square foot of garden every four to six weeks during the growing season.

Step 5

Transplant garden geraniums to a flower pot before the first fall frost. Cut plants back to 6 inches tall then bring them indoors. Place them in a sunny window during the winter months and water as needed to keep the soil moist.

Propagating Geraniums

Step 1

Cut a 3-inch section off the tip of a growing stem with a clean knife. Take this cutting four weeks before the first expected fall frost.

Step 2

Fill a seedling pot with a potting mix designed for cuttings. Strip the leaves from the cut end of the cutting and set it in the potting mix deep enough that it stands upright on its own.

Step 3

Place the pot in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Water the mix as needed to keep it moist at all times.

Step 4

Move the cutting to a full-sun area once it becomes rooted. Check by lightly tugging the cutting, looking for resistance that signifies it is rooted.

Step 5

Water the rooted cutting when the soil surface has dried. Let the surface dry completely to the touch between waterings.

Step 6

Fertilize with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer every two weeks until you are ready to transplant the geranium to the garden or its permanent pot.

Tips and Warnings

  • Under-watering and under-fertilizing both can lead to yellowing leaves on geraniums.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot, 12 inch or larger
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Knife
  • Small pot
  • Cutting medium

References

  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Geranium Culture for Home Gardens
Keywords: growing geraniums, propagating geraniums, planting cuttings

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.