With their colorful blooms and bright green foliage, geraniums provide color to the landscape all summer long until the first hard frost. At that time, they are usually allowed to die away, replaced by new plants the following spring. Geraniums are easy to propagate from cuttings, meaning healthy plants at a lower cost, ready to be planted outdoors when the weather warms up in the spring.
Purchase a 3 to 4-inch planting container for each cutting. Be sure the containers have drainage holes in the bottom.
Fill the containers with good-quality potting soil, or a mixture of 50 percent sand and 50 percent perlite. Moisten the soil lightly with a spray mister.
Cut a piece of stem about 4 to 6 inches from a healthy geranium in late summer before the first hard frost. Clip off the bloom and remove the leaves on the lower half of the stem.
Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone. Plant the stem in the planting container to a depth of no more than 1 ½ inches and tamp the soil down around the cutting. Be sure none of the leaves are touching the soil, because they will rot.
Put a plastic bag over the cutting and put the cutting where it will get bright, but not direct light. Remove the bag occasionally so moisture won’t build up inside. Although you probably won’t have to water the cutting for several weeks, check the soil weekly. If it feels dry, remove the plastic and mist the soil.
Remove the plastic baggie, and move the geranium cutting into bright sunlight when it has developed roots. To determine if roots have developed, tug lightly on the cutting. If you feel resistance, that’s an indication that the cutting has taken root.
Water the geranium lightly, only when the soil feels dry or the leaves are beginning to shrivel. Too much moisture can causes development of mold and disease. Give the cutting an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer twice monthly, and plant it outdoors when the weather warms in the spring.