How to Start Roots With a Citronella Plant Piece


Citronella is a variety of annual geranium, also known as mosquito plant, as it is known to repel the insect with its strong fragrance. It is a short-lived perennial that grown in areas with mild winter and lives up to two years. The fragrance becomes more vibrant when the leaves are crushed or rubbed. The citronella geranium grows well in garden settings and it will also thrive in a pot placed in a sunny location on a patio or porch.

Step 1

Fill a planting tray with rooting medium or a mixture of course sand and peat. Moisten the rooting medium lightly with water. Rooting medium can be purchased at gardening centers.

Step 2

Take citronella geranium cuttings in the fall season, by cutting shoots 3 to 5 inches in length with a clean pruning clipper. Remove all lower leaves from the cutting.

Step 3

Dip the cut end into rooting hormone. Gently tap the cutting to remove excess hormone.

Step 4

Stick 1 inch of the cut end into the rooting medium tray. Gently firm the medium around the cutting to hold in place.

Step 5

Cover the rooting tray with a clear plastic bag or cover that came with the tray.

Step 6

Place the tray in a location that offers indirect sunlight and warmth. Open the cover daily to remove excess heat buildup.

Step 7

Water the cuttings only to prevent shriveling. The medium should hold enough moisture so that watering is required once a week.

Step 8

Apply a water soluble fertilizer to the cuttings every two weeks.

Step 9

Monitor the cuttings for root production. Gently pull on the cutting after four weeks to see if there is resistance. This will indicate root growth.

Step 10

Transplant cuttings to a 3-inch pot once root growth is fully established. Continue to grow under lights or in full sunlight until the cuttings can be moved outdoors.

Step 11

Water the cuttings regularly to keep the soil moist. Discontinue fertilizing until new top growth is present.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting tray
  • Rooting medium
  • Course sand
  • Peat
  • Pruning clipper
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic cover
  • Water
  • Water soluble fertilizer
  • 3-inch pots


  • Cooperative Extension Program in Bexar County: Geraniums
  • North Carolina State University: Geranium Culture for Home Gardens
  • The Organic Growers Web Site: Citronella Geranium Plant
Keywords: citronella plant propagation, citronella geranium care, geranium propagation

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.