Tag Archive | geranium cuttings

Taking care of the babies (propagating geraniums)



Back in August I took some geranium cuttings for next year. I usually take about twelve with one or two spares and I try to pick cuttings from the different colours so that I get a continuity. I currently have red, white, pink and peach. I am always on the look-out for that elusive blue, which hasn’t been invented yet (as far as I know).

The cuttings stayed outside until last week when I brought them in to keep them safe against the risk of frost damage. I put them on a window ledge. This one faces west, which is ideal because they get the evening sun but not all day sun. They all have well established roots now and every one has started flowering. You can see in the picture how they like to grow towards the sun. Each and every one is leaning towards the light and the sun.

So my babies are indoors now. I will water them once or twice a week until April when they will go back into the borders and make a colourful show. Yes, I could go and buy plug plants from the garden centre, but this way is just so much more fun!

The next stage is for me to bring in the medium sized plants, which were the babies last year. We have been promised frost! soon so I need to get on with it.


My English Garden – January 2013


Well, as you know, the weather has been fierce lately! We’ve had this (see above)

and this (see below)

23-12-2010 006

so I’ve needed these…


and this:

fireplace with fire

and this to keep me warm…


but I haven’t forgotten my geranium cuttings! Remember my post back in August? You can remind yourself here. I’ve been nurturing those cuttings since then.  Just before the first frosts came, I brought them into the cottage and put them along the window-ledge at the front where they get the evening sun. The trick is to keep them alive but not to encourage them to grow too fast. I don’t want them to get leggy. I water them once a week and that is enough.  It is quite dry in the house and they dry out quickly, but they don’t seem to mind that.

This is what they looked like last week:


When I bring them in, they sometimes have a caterpillar among the leaves, so Dylan and I go caterpillar hunting:


The other day we took part in an RSPB Birdwatch. Click the link to read more about it. Basically, during the course of one hour, we were asked to observe the birds, which turned up in our garden and submit the results online in order to take part in a nationwide survey of the bird population. For example, we had to record the most number of birds of each species that we saw together during that hour.

All was going normally at first. We saw two blackbirds, two wood pigeons, two starlings, a robin and a magpie. Then all of a sudden! a whole flock of waxwings descended onto our cotoneaster bush and stripped it of all the berries. I counted 23 waxwings, which is an awful lot more than all the other birds put together.  These gorgeous birds, pictures follow, come down from even colder regions, like Sweden and descend upon us at this time of the year.  It is quite a new thing. I don’t remember seeing them in years gone by. Here are the pictures. The best pictures are here and the others I had to take through the window so as not to disturb them.




We have submitted our results to the RSPB and I’ll let you know what the total results were when they come out. Sadly there has been a decline in the bird population here in England. Some birds are rarely seen commonly anymore, but others have been on the increase.

So that’s a glimpse into my garden this week. The snow has gone now and been replaced by ferocious winds and rain. It really does feel like I’m living on an island. I never thought about that when I was living in Tennessee, but when I came back I realised that ‘yes’ we are an island race of people and we’re never very far away from the sea. Long may it continue so!


Propagating geraniums – how to take geranium cuttings.

 Picture of man in shed from the internet.

The geraniums in the tub below are beginning to look a bit tired.  Time to take cuttings.

I decided to start with the red one in the pot. Look at the next picture.  Can you see the larger stalk on the right of the red geranium?

That’s the one I’m starting with. Cut it off with your secateurs, just below a growing tip. See next picture to make sure you know what I mean by a growing tip.

Now remove and discard all the lower leaves and any flower stalks that are still apparent.  If you do this then the growth will go into the making of new roots and not into the production of more flowers. The larger leaves would die anyway so they need to come off. Now you are left with a perfect cutting. This will become a new plant, which you can put in your border next year, but you have to keep it indoors all through the winter.

Find your compost.  I put mine in a large blue tub, which doubles up as a play piece for my grandson when he comes round.  He loves to dig in here and it is relatively free from germs.

Put some of the compost in a small flower pot.  This one is a four inch pot. Incidentally this is not very good compost. I bought it in the Supermarket and it was cheap, but it is quite woody and not ideal for this job. The best compost is John Innes no. 2 which is a much finer compost. However I’ve put it in here so you can see the difference.  This would not be suitable for sewing seeds into. For that job you would need a much finer compost.

Poke the cutting into the compost in the pot until the growing tip is covered.  I’ve left this one a bit proud so you can see what I mean. You will need to poke it in further than this one.

Notice that a caterpillar has had a chew at this leaf.  Make sure he’s still not on the leaf when you plant the cutting (for obvious reasons).

This morning I did several.  I planted them together in a tub in the garden. They should be fine in there for another month and will benefit from the sun and the rain.  It will also make them hardy.  When I come back from America in mid October, I will take some more pictures of these cuttings so you can see how they’re doing. By then they will need to be put in pots and brought indoors before the first frosts arrive.

In the tub I have a selection of white, red, pink and peach cuttings.  It will be interesting to see which ones do the best.

These are cuttings of lychnis and Sweet Williams.  I’ll talk more about them another time.

After all that work, I reckon I deserved a nice lunch so I went into Oma’s kitchen and made myself a fry-up. Yummy!

What are you doing today?