Reproduction of pelargonium by cuttings – even beginners will succeed! care

Pelargoniums never go out of style. Easy to grow, blooming all summer tirelessly, they unpleasantly surprise with only one thing – the need for frequent rejuvenation. Both old varieties and new original hybrids age and stretch quickly. But at the same time, they are amazingly easy to renew and multiply. It is very easy to get new, young, luxuriantly flowering bushes from healthy shoots of pelargonium, so difficulties with cuttings rarely arise even for inexperienced growers. After all, it is enough to follow the soil moisture and lighting – and in a few weeks the plants will start to grow.

Reproduction of pelargonium by cuttings – even beginners will succeed!

Pelargonium is a plant that provides an ample choice of reproduction and rejuvenation options. Separation, growing from seed, and grafting have both advantages and disadvantages. Luxurious hybrids and varieties with seeds cannot be recreated, and separation is rather an exception to the rule. There is simply no safer, faster and easier way than growing new bushes from cuttings. Moreover, in this way the plants retain the characteristics of the mother plants – all the luxurious features of varietal favorites.


When can you graft pelargonium?

This is one of those houseplants that you can graft almost any time you want. In winter, and in autumn, the percentage of rooting rate of cuttings in pelargoniums is lower, but some of the shoots take root even in the height of winter, and success can be achieved. True, the whole process will take twice as long, and the bushes can stretch out until spring arrives without additional lighting. That is why, whenever there is a choice, it is better to use the classic period – spring, the beginning of active plant growth. Then, without any hassle, it will be possible to get lush bushes by summer, ready for rapid flowering.

Healthy, adult, strong bushes are used for grafting. Usually – these are pelargoniums, which are already planning to form and cut after winter.

What cuttings and how to cut?

Pelargonium reproduces very easily, but with only one kind of cuttings. In order to obtain healthy, strong bushes, the plants will not be able to use stem or leaf cuttings. Only the tops of the shoots are suitable for the reproduction of pelargonium, and even then with a sufficient number of “growth points” – 2 – 4 leaves. Depending on the variety, the length of the cutting can be either standard 5-8 cm or reach 10-12 cm. It is better to focus on the number of leaves and internodes, rather than size.

To avoid problems, you need to use only a sharp tool – not scissors or pruning shears, but a blade, scalpel, stationery knife with a very sharp blade, allowing you to make a clean, even cut. It is better to disinfect the surface of the tool and repeat the disinfection before cutting off each next shoot.

Cutting the stalk correctly is simple:

  1. Holding the top of the shoot and counting the required number of leaves, lower yourself 1-1,5 cm below the node.
  2. Make a straight cut at a 45 degree angle. If you are afraid of mistakes, make a “stock” and update the slices already on the cut cutting, laying it on a flat surface.

After examining the stalk, be sure to remove the lower leaves (only the upper pair should be left) and all inflorescences, even in the initial stages of development.

Rooting can be "helped" by using stimulants, but such treatment is not at all necessary for pelargonium.
Rooting can be “helped” by using stimulants, but such treatment is not at all necessary for pelargonium.

Preparing cuttings for rooting

All pelargoniums need is to dry the slices for at least 3-4 hours in the shade and treat the cut surfaces with crushed coal for disinfection. Of course, rooting can be “helped” by using stimulants, but such treatment is not at all necessary for pelargonium.

“Kornevin” and other rooting stimulants should be used exactly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, not exceeding the recommended dosage and processing time.

Read also our article Pelargonium – the most hardy of the flowering flowers.

How to root pelargonium cuttings?

Despite the fact that many growers achieve successful rooting of pelargonium in water, rooting in the substrate remains the preferred and most “reliable” option.

For pelargonium, you can use any light, loose soil mixture with a neutral reaction – a special substrate for cultivation or cuttings, a mixture of sand and peat, sand and universal soil for seedlings, clean sand and even perlite or vermiculite. Ground mixes for indoor plants, which have added sand or perlite for loosening, are also suitable.

It is not necessary to disinfect the soil: only if you doubt its quality, calcine the substrate in advance or spill it with boiling water, a solution of potassium permanganate or a systemic fungicide.

It is not necessary to cover containers with pelargonium cuttings with “greenhouses”. Of course, if there is a cuticle or its analog, you can use it, but if not, you do not need to worry about the reserves of film, caps, structures to create conditions for high humidity. It is enough to pick up any free container with drainage holes at least 5-6 cm deep (both seedling pots and ordinary plastic cups are perfect) and start planting cuttings.

Planting cuttings of pelargonium

The containers are filled with soil without ramming, and watering is carried out a day before the intended planting. If there is no time, you can moisten the soil to a light uniform moisture using a sprayer just before planting.

Deepening in the soil under the cuttings is conveniently done with a pencil or a small stick. Pelargonium cuttings are planted vertically or at a slight angle, tracking the level of immersion: the cuttings should sink into the soil by 2-2,5 cm.If a common container is used for several cuttings at once, the distance between the plants should be 5-6 cm. The cuttings are carefully squeezed with soil for stability, but it is undesirable to strongly compact the soil.

Lack of lighting will only lead to the loss of pelargonium planting material.
Lack of lighting will only lead to the loss of pelargonium planting material. Farmer Brian Pettinger

Care of cuttings

Bright lighting is the key to success, but in the early days, the cuttings are best placed in a secluded place. Pelargonium cuttings should not be placed in direct sunlight in the future (during the entire rooting period), but the lack of lighting will only lead to the loss of planting material. The brightest window sill with a diffusing screen, east or west window – any soft but bright light setting will do.

Pelargonium requires any room temperature above 18 degrees (ideally + 21 … + 23 degrees). If the plants are cut during the heating season, additional spraying or other measures to increase air humidity will not harm.

You need to moisten the soil carefully, with bottom watering or along the edges of the pot, with a minimum amount of water. The main thing is to maintain light moisture and not let the substrate dry out completely. It is impossible to soak the stalk itself, the stem and leaves, as well as allow dampness and waterlogging.

How long to wait for the result?

It is very simple to recognize the success in rooting – the cuttings “wake up”, new leaves begin to grow.

In pelargonium, shoots take root rather quickly, the first roots are formed after 2-6 weeks. Different species take root in different ways. Most likely, about two weeks, ivy-leaved and zonal pelargoniums take root, the longest – fragrant pelargonium, which may not release roots even after 6 weeks. All fashionable hybrids, including the English Royal Pelargonium, take root within the “average” time – about 4 weeks.

The duration of rooting is influenced by the season, lighting, and other conditions. In winter, cuttings take root on average twice as long as in spring or summer. After a few weeks, if the cuttings were growing in a common container, they can be transplanted into permanent pots according to the general planting rules, using loose soil and not too large containers (standard pots with a diameter of about 9 cm for single plants).

It will take several months to wait for strong, lush, dense bushes. Most pelargoniums will begin to bloom at the same time (including all hybrids and varieties of zonal pelargonium). Sometimes you have to wait twice as long for English and royal pelargonium to bloom, or even until next year, but the bushes will still look charming.

In comparison with many cultures, pelargoniums are quite “fast” and do not require painfully long waiting for maximum decorative effect. But in order to succeed, the bushes obtained from cuttings need to begin to form in time. As soon as the plants grow 10-15 cm, you can carry out the first pinching, continuing to shorten the shoots and stimulate thickening as they grow.

Pelargonium cuttings of non-double varieties can take root in water
Pelargonium cuttings of non-double varieties can take root in water

Read also our article Why does pelargonium not bloom?

Rooting in water

Pelargonium cuttings of non-double varieties can also take root in water, in any transparent container. Thawed, filtered, rain or just settled water is poured so that the bottom of the cutting is submerged to the standard 2-2,5 cm. And they just keep the water clean, regularly replacing it and refilling it as it evaporates. A pinch of charcoal can be added to prevent rot. If the bottom of the cutting rots, the sections are renewed, processed and placed in new clean water.

As soon as strong roots are formed (at least 2,5 cm in length), the cutting can be planted in pots, handling it carefully and taking care not to damage the roots.


Anna Evans

Author âś“ Farmer

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