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How to Slip Geraniums

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How to Slip Geraniums

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Overview

Geraniums are a hardy plant with somewhat waxy leaves that blooms profusely in a variety of colors. Because they are so easy to get started and grow so well with only limited attention, geraniums are prized by many gardeners. Propagating geraniums from slips is very easy, as this hardy plant loves to grow in almost any soil. Geranium slips are best taken and planted in early summer so the plants have a full growing season to get established. Geraniums can be grown indoors or outdoors in pots, or they can be grown in a flower bed. Geraniums can be killed by frost, so many gardeners prefer to keep their plants in pots and bring them indoors as winter approaches.

Step 1

Find one or more healthy stems on a geranium plant that is at least 4 to 6 inches long. Cut off this stem just below a leaf node, a slight swelling where new leaves grow. Use a sharp knife, and cut straight across 1/4 inch below the node.

Step 2

Remove all leaves on the lower 2 inches of your slip, and then pour a small quantity of rooting hormone (available at any nursery or home center) into a shallow bowl, and dip the cut end of your geranium slip into the hormone, allowing the hormone to cover about 2 inches of the slip.

Step 3

Fill a growing tray with potting soil, and dampen the soil with water. Use your finger or a pencil to poke a hole in the potting soil, and then carefully put the bottom 2 inches of your geranium slip into the hole, keeping as much rooting hormone on the slip as you can. Gently press the soil around your slip, and then mist with your mister to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Step 4

Place your rooting tray in a warm, sunny location where it will stay between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Check it every day or so and mist as necessary to keep the soil damp.

Step 5

Dig up the slips carefully after four weeks, and plant them in individual pots filled with damp potting soil. Be careful not to break or damage the young roots as you are transplanting. Keep the individual slips in a warm and sunny location for another four weeks, and then plant outdoors if desired in a 50/50 mix of garden soil and potting soil.

Step 6

Fertilize your young plants with a liquid house plant fertilizer eight weeks after initially planting your slips, following the manufacturer's mixing instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Fresh geranium cuttings
  • Rooting hormone
  • Growing tray
  • Potting soil
  • Misting bottle
  • Flower pots

References

  • North Dakota State University Extension: Saving Geraniums Over Winter
Keywords: slip geraniums, starting geranium slips, growing geraniums from cuttings

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.