Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday- rooting geraniums

Have you ever had a plant that was like a member of the family?  If not like a child, then definitely like a favorite pet? 

Please meet our geraniums.  I think that if Steve could add them onto our health insurance, he would. 

And I have to say that I'm pretty crazy about them too.  They flower almost constantly from February to December.  They survive the winter in the garage and don't even seem mad about it.  And, the best part- they multiply. 

Here is a quick and easy (and free!) way to add to your plant family:

Start with cuttings from healthy plants.  Geraniums tend to get leggy, so every few months I give ours a hard prune.  Steve can't watch this part.  Too upsetting. 

You want to use cuttings that are about 6 inches long and pull off all the leaves except for the ones at the very top.  Also make sure that you are using the green part of the stem and not the lower woody brown part. 

Make a nice clean, diagonal cut at the bottom of your cutting piece. 

This part is really optional.  I have rooted geraniums many times without using rooting hormone and it worked just fine.  We actually bought this rooting hormone for our hydrangeas, which I heard were harder to root.  But since we had it, we used it on the geraniums this time around.  I think that they will just grow roots faster than without it.  We got this jar at Lowe's and I think it was $6 and I also think that it will last for the rest of our lives. 

So, if you're using rooting hormone, dip the cut end of the stem into the jar and then tap it against the side of the jar to shake off the excess.

You should have a very thin coating on the bottom 2" of your stem when you are done.

Fill a pot with dirt and poke a big hole for the stem to go in.  You don't want to rub off all the rooting hormone as you put it in the dirt. 

Pack the dirt around your cutting tightly so that it will stand up on its own.  You will probably need to bury the bottom 1-2" of the stem. 

And you're done!  I put several cuttings in each pot.  They probably won't all make it, but lots of them will.  Once they have some roots going, you can transfer them each to a larger pot for more room to grow.

The cuttings will need to stay in the shade, so ours live on the front porch.  They also need to be kept very moist at first- I give them a little water every morning. 

This method also works with hydrangeas (you can see some of those in the picture above) and I think it would probably work with a lot of other plants too.  If I have a plant that I really like, I just stick a cutting of it in some dirt and see if I can grow more and it usually works! 

Along with rooting, we also finished planting our herb garden and bought ferns for the front porch last weekend.  We want everything to look beautiful for Easter.  Is anyone else super excited about Easter this year?  Later this week I'll be sharing our Easter lunch menu and some other fun Easter things. 

Happy rooting!

1 comment:

  1. I came over from the Nester's and this is so informative. I am new to having a yard and am excited about options for adding plants. The previous owners of our home did plant some things but mostly there are just rose bushes here and there. Don't get my wrong, they are wonderful to have and I'm thankful for them but I'd like to fill in a little bit too. Thanks for the tips on rooting. Kelly



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