How to Root Geraniums

Overview

Cheerful and easy to grow, geraniums add a burst of color to the summer garden. Many gardeners buy them a half dozen at a time every spring, but they're easy to propagate from cuttings. Save money by growing multiples of your favorite plant--or expand your collection of different varieties and colors by taking cuttings from a friend's plants.

Step 1

Prepare a small pot for each cutting. Fill with perlite or vermiculite (or a mix of both) to within a half inch of the pot's rim. Moisten the rooting medium so it's damp but not wet.

Step 2

Choose healthy plants to take the cuttings from. For best results, plants should be compact and bushy, with sets of leaves fairly close to each other along each branch.

Step 3

Cut 4- to 6-inch sections from the tips of branches, making sure you have at least two sets of leaves on each. Remove any flowers or buds from the tips, and remove the leaves from the bottom half of each cutting.

Step 4

Dip each cutting into rooting hormone, following package instructions. Gently push the cutting into the rooting medium to a depth of about an inch and a half. Don't let any leaves still on the cutting touch the rooting medium, because they will rot.

Step 5

Cover each pot with a plastic bag, creating a "mini-greenhouse" around each cutting. Place the bagged pots in a bright, warm spot out of direct light.

Step 6

Check the pots every few days. The rooting medium should remain moist for several weeks; when it dries out, add a little more water. If there's a moisture buildup, indicated by water condensing on the inside of the bag, remove the bag for a few hours.

Step 7

Tug gently on each cutting to see if it's rooted yet (it will ordinarily take about a month). If the cutting "resists" when you tug on it, it's got enough roots to move to a growing mix that's half soil and half perlite or vermiculite. Once the cuttings are in the new medium, discard the plastic bags and give them more light, gradually moving them to full sunlight. Keep the growing mix damp but not wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Small pots
  • Coarse rooting medium (perlite, vermiculite)
  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic bags

References

  • University of Minnesota
  • University of NebraskaB
  • Bexar County (Texas) extension office
Keywords: rooting geraniums, propagating geraniums, start geraniums from cuttings

About this Author

Judy Weightman is a freelance writer and editor from Philadelphia. She writes regularly on gardening, education, health care and sustainability. She's had a flower garden for 20 years and a home full of lush houseplants for even longer. A darned good Scrabble player, her word puzzles have appeared in Games magazine.