Taking cuttings is an easy way to get more of your favourite pelargoniums. Try propagating one of your own special plants or ask a friend if you can take a cutting from theirs, if they have a particularly lovely specimen that you’d love to get your hands on! Here’s our step-by-step guide to successfully taking your own geranium cuttings.
What’s the best time of year to take geranium cuttings?
There isn’t a ‘best’ time to take cuttings from members of the pelargonium family because they have no dormant period and grow for twelve months of the year. However, success depends on being able to supply good light and warm compost. A propagator is a worthwhile investment for any enthusiastic gardener and will help you to provide the optimum conditions. It’s a good idea to get going on the regal varieties first, as they take longer to root and come into bloom than the zonal types.
While it’s exciting to expand your collection by trying out new varieties, taking your own geranium cuttings is also an exciting part of this wonderful hobby! If you’ve never tried it before then do give it a go – you’ll get a real thrill when fresh, white roots emerge from the base of a cutting you’ve taken. There is no such thing as 100% success but if you have a method that works for you, then stick with it.
What equipment do I need to take geranium cuttings?
To take cuttings from your geraniums you’ll need:
- A mother plant
- A sharp, clean knife
- Seed compost
- Small pots, alternatively reuse clean yoghurt pots
- A warm place to keep your cuttings until they root
The best way to take geranium cuttings – video guide
This excellent video offers a great practical guide to taking cuttings. For a quick recap, follow these simple steps:
- Cut the mother plant just above a leaf joint on the main stem and then trim the cutting you’ve taken to just below the joint.
- Strip off most of the leaves.
- Don’t take a great long cutting. The healthiest part of a plant is nearest the growing tip, so short cuttings are best. Once rooted they will soon catch up with long ones.
- Insert the cuttings into warm, damp sterilised compost. Keep them in a light, dry atmosphere, and don’t let them dry out. Never put the lid down on a propagator if you are rooting any of the pelargonium family, because they’re very prone to rotting in high humidity.
- Wait. In a few weeks, your cuttings should have rooted!
Should I use rooting hormone for my geranium cuttings?
We never use hormone-rooting powders or liquid, as this makes the ends go soft and they’re more likely to rot than root. Some years ago, someone once wrote in a pelargonium magazine that it was beneficial to use a solution of vitamin C for cuttings, so we tried it and had to agree it helped, so we’ve been using it ever since. We put about half a teaspoonful of powder in a couple of egg-cupfuls of cold water and stir it with something non-metallic (usually a plant label) and store to solution in a dark bottle. Tablets would do just as well as powder – and what you don’t use for your geranium cuttings can be made into a drink – so it will do you both good!
Don’t worry if a few don’t make it – 100% success is a very high standard to try to achieve! The important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing, and enjoy the sense of achievement when you manage to increase your stock of a plant. We always do!
We hope you’ve found this guide useful, and we’d love to hear your success stories. For more information about geranium & pelargonium care, head to our geraniums hub page which is jam-packed with helpful tips.
Is there any way to stop visiting roe deer eating my geraniums.
Oh dear that’s a tricky one! Aside from a deer fence you could try a product called Grazers which you spray onto the plants. It’s a completely natural product and is meant to deter deer from eating your precious plants. I’ve had success with it on pigeon damage but never tried it for deer.
I have a beautiful Amethyst trailing geranium that is 2 years old, but can’t find another in the nurseries. I want to keep it so how do I take cuttings and when is the best time. It is in full flower on my balcony now.
You can take Pelargonium cuttings at any time of the year. Take short cuttings from near the growing tips of the stems. There are some quite helpful videos available on YouTube to show you how. They need good light and warm compost to get going so its best to keep them in the greenhouse or on a bright (but not scorching hot) windowsill indoors.
All the best
We cant see what it is your snipping off to make them bushier
You just need to pinch out the growing tip where you can see baby leaves forming at the top if each main stem.
I’d like to have plants I can put in my garden in mid-May. I live in zone 5. I have my plants growing under lights in my basement. When (what month) would you recommend tsking cuttings so i have strong plants for the summer?
Pelargoniums are perennial so you should be able to keep them from year to year if you are happy to over winter them in the basement. You can take your cuttings at any time of year, but for decent sized plants in May I would thing that you would want to take them by the previous autumn.
Hope that helps
I would like to take cuttings from my geranium maderense. Is this possible?
Yes its simple to take basal cuttings from G. madarense. Select shoots of around 10cm long that are growing from the base of the plant. Sever them close to the crown of the plant at soil level. Insert the cuttings around the edge of a pot of free draining compost and take care not to over-water. Bottom heat will help to speed up the rooting process. Once you start seeing roots appear through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot then they can be potted up individually.
My geranium cuttings are starting to flower should I remove them? Thank you
Yes – if they are still making root then it would be a good idea to remove the blooms.
Hello, I might be being dim but the paragraph about where to cut and trim seems ambiguous
“Cut the mother plant just above a leaf joint on the main stem and then trim the cutting you’ve taken to just below the joint.”
If I’ve cut just above a joint, how can I trim to just below it? Could you clarify? Kind regards Andy
Have you watched the video in the blog? I think you will find this makes things clearer. The cutting is taken from the mother plant, by cutting just above a leaf joint low down on the plant. You will now have a separate cutting. The cutting that you have taken can now be prepared by trimming just below a leaf joint further up its stem.
I hope that helps
Do the cuttings have to be kept indoors or can they survive in a small greenhouse
A heated, frost free greenhouse is actually preferable, as they would receive more light.
All the best
hi, I grew up in NY and in the winter I remembered my father would dig up our geraniums and hang them upside down in the basement and would replant them in the spring. Is this common and will this work?
I’ve been doing this for years and it works. The present geraniums are in their tenth year. Obviously cuttings, not the original plants.
Help all my stems are still really flowering,so how do I take a cutting, from the top of plant including flowering buds still abundant,or from lower down?
I want to take cuttings soon but I don’t have a heated greenhouse. Could I keep them indoors in a spare bedroom? Also should I water them during the winter months ??
A spare bedroom would be fine. Only water when necessary to keep the compost just moist. Once the weather warms up in spring then you can increase watering again.
Hope that helps
I would like to know how to take cuttings from geranium Roxanne. Does it seed itself? Thanks
Hello. Geranium Rozanne is a Hardy Geranium and will set seed after flowering. However, hardy Gerniums can be lifted and divided in spring to create more plants. This method of propagation is far quicker and will produce larger plants.
No it won’t set seed. It is sterile which is why it flowers for so long.
I took a stem from a geranium, stuck in a dirt, potting soil mix, and still thriving, I’m amazed, been a week. Not real big yet …
what was the weather like? I just did that same thing but I am thinking it’s too cold outside atm.
I am amazed to see my name on the comments list,as I don’t remember visiting the set,or is there another Michael Drake!
For the first time I trimmed back a few geranium plants last autumn to about 6″ high and bushy. They are now growing slowly indoors in pots. How should I proceed to get the best blooming flowers this summer out of doors? Should I put these plants into large pots outside when the weather warms up or take cuttings from these plants and bring on indoors before planting out?
If you’ve trimmed them back now and they are slowly growing indoors, I would give them a general purpose feed for now and maybe switch to a higher potash feed in late spring to encourage flowering. take cuttings after flowering in late summer and get theses going then.
I hope this helps
All the best
Is it too late to take geranium cuttings after a frost
as long as the plants are still healthy and not showing any signs of damage from the frost then it should be absolutely fine.
All the best
Sorry I meant Holly, not Veronica. Sunday brain!
I took some cuttings of my one favourite geranium a couple of months ago and put them in the greenhouse (in mix of vermiculite and compost after studying the method closely). Took a while for them to do anything but all of a sudden the cuttings are in flower, even though they are only 3-4″ tall. I did try to take stems that hadn’t flowered but because I had already given the plant a trim back, there weren’t many to choose from so maybe these had flowered. What do I do? Is this ok? I will shortly be potting them out into their own pots as there are 3 of them in a 6″ pot at the moment. Thanks.
All is well and the fact that the cuttings have flowered shows that they are strong and healthy too. I would, however cut the flowers off so that the plant can put its energy into growing well and will flower much better next year. Pot them up as per your original plans and keep up the good work!
Excellent, thanks for the advice Graham!
I would like tofollow your blog.
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Thank you for your help.
I thought you had to select a stem that hadn’t flowered – in some difficulties because mine seems to be flowering everywhere but I want more of this gloriously deep red geranium with dark foliage.
how do I take cuttings from herbaceous geraniums (not pelargoniums) and when is the best time of year to do it?
Hardy herbaceous Geraniums are best propagated by division. In the spring or autumn, when the temperatures are mild and the soil is moist, you can carefully lift established plants and then divide the rootball into seperate sections. These can then be potted up/ replanted and left to establish to cretae new plants.
Hardy Geraniums are best propagated by division. In the autumn or spring , when the soil is moist and the temperatures are mild, you can lift carefully established plants. Divide the rootball into sections which can then be potted up or replanted and left to establish as new plants.