How to Propagate Geraniums

Overview

Geraniums are perennial flowers that are used in flower beds and borders. They grow in a wide range of colors in containers and hanging baskets. Geraniums originate in South Africa where they are a shrubby plant that grows up to 3 ft. tall. Geraniums are propagated by stem cuttings. Because of the hybridizing of the geranium types, they do not grow true when planted from seeds.

Step 1

Mix equal parts of coarse sand, perlite, vermiculite and potting soil. This creates a soil mixture with good drainage.

Step 2

Wash a 4-inch deep container with soapy water. Rinse with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to disinfect the container for the cuttings. Dry the container completely.

Step 3

Fill the container with your soil mixture. Spray the soil with water until it is thoroughly damp.

Step 4

Cut off 3 to 5 inch ends off the stems of your geranium with a sharp knife. Remove the lower leaves so that the lower 3 inches of the stem is bare.

Step 5

Dip 1 1/2 inches of the stem end in the root hormone. Plant the stem cuttings in the soil and firm the soil around the cuttings.

Step 6

Cover the container with a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, decrease wilting and increase root growth rate. Leave a corner of the bag open so the cutting does not overheat. Place the bag in a warm location in bright light, but out of direct sunlight.

Step 7

Check the cuttings every week for moistness. The soil should stay moist for several weeks at a time. Check the cutting occasionally for roots. Gently tug on the stem. If the stem resists the pull, then roots have developed and the cuttings are ready to be transplanted into individual containers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over fertilize the geranium plants. This will result in excessive foliage growth and only a few flowers. Use slow-release fertilizer while the geranium is flowering.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Potting soil
  • 4-inch deep container
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Geranium
  • Sharp knife
  • Root hormone
  • Plastic bag

References

  • Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension: Geraniums: How to Grow and Propagate Them
Keywords: geraniums, stem cuttings, propagate geraniums

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.