Tag Archive | pelargoniums

Taking care of the babies (propagating geraniums)


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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.

Oma

When should I plant out my geranium (pelargonium) cuttings?


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Back last August, I took lots of geranium cuttings.  So what has happened to them since, you may be wondering. Well they are doing just fine thank you. The smallest ones have been on my window sill all winter and now they are bursting to go outside. Since we could still have frosts at night, I am waiting till April to plant them out and meantime I am enjoying the daffodils in the border first. You can see how big the cuttings are in the first picture above.

The rest of the plants, which I had in the back garden last summer, were brought in in October before the first frosts arrived. They have been sunning themselves in the ‘den’ at the back of the cottage all winter. Now they are getting a bit leggy and want to go outside, but first they must be hardened off. I shall be doing that soon.

Geraniums, or to give them their proper name, pelargoniums, are easy to grow and quick to propagate so they are ideal for beginners to gardening and for me because there is such a high success rate. I like to make sure that I get a continuity of colour each year so I take care, when propagating, to get an equal number of red, white, pink and peach plants. Each year it seems that one or other does better than the rest and, of course, I am always on the look out for new colours. I would love to have a blue one, but blue is not the most prolific colour in the plant world.

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Like the primrose, the geranium is not particularly attractive to bees for pollinating. The primrose (which I wrote about yesterday) relies on small insects to spread its seeds and the geraniums need a bit of help from me!

This is one of the pink ones, which is longing to get outside. It’s such a delicate colour, isn’t it.

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Millie thinks I’m mad, messing about with plants all the time; you can tell from her expression while she is watching me:

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So today it is fine and sunny outside and so I may go out and poggle about with the fork! First I have to think about something for dinner?

What are you having for dinner today?

Oma

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?