How to take pelargonium cuttings

Do it:

Sep

Takes just:

20 minutes

Unlike most annual bedding plants, pelargoniums (or bedding geraniums) are easily propagated by cuttings, so you don't have to fork out for more plants the following summer. Kept on a warm windowsill over winter, your cuttings will quickly develop roots and leaves. They'll be ready to plant out in spring, and will flower all summer.

You will need

  • Established pelargonium plant
  • Plastic pots
  • Seed compost
  • Sharp sand
  • Knife or secateurs
  • Rooting hormone (optional)

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Select healthy, squat and fat shoots. Remove them from the parent plant by cutting immediately above a bud.

Remove flower buds and lower leaves from the bottom half of each cutting and cut the stem just below a node, where there is a concentration of the plant's own hormones.

To improve success rates, dip the base of each cutting in a small amount of rooting hormone to stimulate root growth.

Fill pots with seed compost mixed with sharp sand to aid drainage. Insert two or three cuttings around the edge of each pot. Water the compost and stand pots in a well-lit position, indoors. Do not cover the pots, as this can encourage mildew to develop on the leaves.

After a few weeks, a corky callus will develop over the cut end of the stem and roots will begin to grow. A good root system will have developed within six to eight weeks.

In March or April, knock each cutting out of the pot and transplant into individual pots of multi-purpose compost. Keep well-watered and plant out in spring, after all risk of frost has passed.

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Remove black or wilted cuttings as these may harbour a disease, which could spread to other plants.

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