Rush to Lush: Geranium Cuttings

14 Jun

Geranium Cuttings in Pot

I love working in my garden but I also love relaxing, reading and entertaining there.  Company often ambles outside to see how the garden is doing and they never really makes it back inside – we just end up eating al fresco under the palm trees, which is fine by me.

Yesterday I pulled out the spring bloomers, leggy and swooning with June heat.  Of course this created a lot of bare spaces.  I didn’t want to wait for everything to fill in from seed, so I planted one quart containers of blooming geraniums.  We have a large front yard and a very strict homeowner’s association (no bare spots, not even mulch is allowed), so this could have gotten expensive pretty quickly.  I did what I always do at times like these – propagate!  Here’s an easy way to multiply geraniums from cuttings:

Soak the soil with water and set each container where the plant will go so it  can  acclimatize.  Then cut a large stem from each plant (ideally one with flowers and buds) and immediately place them in a bucket of water, and set the bucket in the planting area also.

The next day, plant the geraniums and cuttings in good, compost-enriched soil.  The importance of  nutrient-rich soil cannot be overstated. The newly transplanted plants and the cuttings will also need to be kept moist to avoid shock.  Soak them, and them mix up a batch of liquid root stimulating hormone and vitamin B1 in the concentrations specified on the product containers, and apply about 2 cups directly over the roots or stem of each plant.   Please note: plant the cuttings in the ground only if the soil is kept moist and the weather is not over 80 degrees or so.  Otherwise plant them in a pot and set it in a shady area until the root systems have developed some.  You’ve now have twice as many flowering geranium plants as you started with.

In two weeks start the cycle again.  Cut another stem from each original plant and from each cutting that seems to be doing well (i.e. is growing and has not dropped its flowers or buds), and just keep going this way.

I should also mention that the placement of color in your garden will either keep the eye moving or arrest it.

Discordant color emphasizes bare spaces.

A rhythmic line is created with mounds of pink flowers.

Choose one color and use it in masses throughout your garden to create a flowing. rhythmic line that “pulls” the eye along, encouraging it to skim past sparser areas rather than rest on them.  I love deep red geraniums but other hues are gorgeous too.  What about dark, exotic fuchsia, vibrant tomato red, or elegant and understated white?

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Stop and Smell the Geraniums

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2 Responses to “Rush to Lush: Geranium Cuttings”

  1. Barbara December 16, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Lisa,

    As an apartment dweller my garden space is limited to a small front porch area. I shy away from the messy cluttered look. Do you have any suggestions?

    Barbara

    • Lisa December 16, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Check out the section on modern window box designs in the article Window Boxes With Wow. I’d love to see a photo of your project!

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