How to Propagate Geraniums

Multiply your plants with a few simple steps.



Germany, Plants for the balcony

Photo by: Westend61


Propagation can sound like a daunting task — even if you’re a seasoned gardener. However, it’s a cost-free and simple way to create more of your favorite plants and can be especially useful when you want to share a variety that is no longer available. The steps and care are very similar to the growing process. For the most part, all you need are a well-maintained plant, a good set of pruning shears, and a bit of patience. Read on for instructions on how to properly propagate your geraniums.

Getting Started

One of the most the crucial steps in propagation success is selecting a hardy and viable plant that you would like to reproduce. Its health is crucial to the process, so be selective and be sure to choose a plant that is fully mature. Choose a stem of the geranium that is approximately five inches long, and use shears to cut the stem from the plant at a 45-degree angle just below the closest node. It’s a good idea to cut your plant in the morning before the heat of the day affects it. Remember to be gentle with your new cutting; it is the start of a whole new plant. 

Prep the Cutting

Remove any lower foliage from the plant and any blooms from the top, leaving just the top-most leaves. Dip the tip of the cutting in rooting hormone for a few seconds to help stimulate plant growth. 

Plant the Cutting

Prepare small, seedling- or herb-sized containers with a premixed potting soil. Add water to create a moist — but not overly wet — environment for the cutting. Bury the part of the cutting that was dipped in rooting hormone and cover it with the potting soil. You can put two to three cuttings in one pot; however if one begins to wilt or turn brown remove it promptly to keep the disease from spreading to the other cuttings.

Care for the Cutting

Place your planted containers indoors in a light-filled area that is not in direct sun; too much sun can be harmful, but diffused amounts throughout the day are highly beneficial. Water them as needed, being careful not to drown the plants. Misting can be a great method to properly achieve the right moisture. 

Wait for the Reward

In four to six weeks, your efforts should prove to be fruitful. The cutting will begin to develop a viable root system. You can check for this by tugging lightly on the stem of the cutting; when the roots begin to grow you will feel a slight resistance. Allow the roots to continue to develop for a full eight weeks (from the initial planting time). When the roots have developed, it’s time to place your new geranium in the ground. Follow normal planting instructions for your variety and you’ll be experiencing a whole new crop of your favorite plant in no time.

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