When To Propagate Geraniums

Any time during the growing season, when a plant is experiencing a flush of new growth and just before it begins to form buds, is the ideal moment to take a cutting.

Taking cuttings in the fall before the plants go dormant will ensure that you have new, fresh plants to plant out in the spring if you are growing garden geraniums as annuals.

This is how you do it:

Select a stem with strong leaves. Aim to steer clear of the weakest, most recent growth, the oldest, woodiest stems, and any with discolored or damaged foliage.

Cut four to six inches down from the stem tip, right below a leaf node.

To leave three to four inches of bare stem, snip off the lower foliage and leave two or three leaves at the top. Remove any flower or leaf buds that may divert energy from the production of roots.

What time of year should I trim geraniums?

Since geraniums don’t go dormant in the winter, cuttings can be taken at any point throughout the season, but April is the ideal month. For the best outcomes, success depends on light, warmth, and hydration; warmth and more daylight result in stronger plants.

Can I plant cuttings of geraniums directly in the ground?

Geranium plant cuttings take root quite well and don’t require any herbicide or fungicide, yet complete success is unlikely. Simply place your cutting in a container filled with warm, damp potting soil. Place the pot in a bright area away from direct sunlight and give it a good watering.

Geranium plant cuttings are prone to decaying, therefore don’t cover the pot. When the soil feels dry, water the pot. Your geranium plant cuttings should have roots in only a week or two.

Allow your cuttings to remain in the open air for three days before planting them in the ground if you intend to do so. By doing this, the clipped tip will begin to develop a callus that will help protect it from rot and fungus in the non-sterile garden soil.

Geranium cuttings can be rooted in water.

Geraniums can grow roots in water, yes. Approximately 6-inch-long cuttings should only have the top leaves left on them. Place the cuttings in a water-filled container in a well-lit area away from the sun. To prevent leaves from rotting in the water, make sure to remove all foliage from any cuttings that may fall below the water’s surface. Hopefully, the cuttings will ultimately produce roots so they may be replanted.

By putting the cuttings in moist vermiculite or perlite, you might have more success. These soilless products encourage good moisture retention and aeration. To promote root formation, dip the bottom end of the stems into rooting hormone. A slow-release granular fertilizer made for annual flowers works nicely on geraniums.

Can geraniums be kept in pots during the winter?

Geraniums can be overwintered inside in three different ways: as a houseplant, as a dormant bare root, or as cuttings. Your decision will be influenced by the amount of room you have indoors and the range of temperatures you can tolerate. Here is a closer examination of each method.

Overwintering geraniums as houseplants

If you want to keep the entire potted plant and have lots of room close to a window that gets bright, direct light, go with this option. A drafty west-facing window would be the ideal place for your potted geranium to spend the winter because geraniums prefer it chilly (55 to 65 F is optimum).

Wash the foliage well with your hose and repot the plant in new potting soil to prevent bringing unwanted pests from outside. You might also use insecticidal soap, which is sold in most garden centers and hardware stores as well as online. Avoid taking the plant indoors if it shows any signs of pests or illness. Only strong plants have a chance of successfully overwintering indoors.

During the winter, keep the soil wet but not damp. No more humidity is required. If the stems begin to sag, pinch them back to keep the plant compact throughout the winter. When springtime comes around, you may start fertilizing once more and transfer the plant back outside as soon as the temperature reliably rises above 50 F.

Overwintering geraniums as dormant bare root plants

This is the most typical way to overwinter geraniums, but it won’t work unless you have a dark, dry place that stays around 50 degrees throughout the winter.

First, dig up your geranium before it freezes and shake the dirt off the roots. To stop mold from forming, let the plant sit and dry for a few days before storage. Before moving onto the following phase, the roots must be completely dry.

The roots should be kept in a dark, dry place that doesn’t get colder than 45 degrees throughout the winter. Geranium roots should be kept at a temperature of 50 F. You can keep them by doing:

  • It has been customary for generations to hang the plants upside-down from the rafters;
  • placing them on a shelf after wrapping them in newspaper or a paper bag;
  • they were put in a cardboard box.

Step 3: Every month or so, look for mold, black leaves, or limp stems at the roots. Remove any plant or root components that are harmful. Most of the stems should endure the winter in good shape. Before re-storing them if they become too wilted, give them a good bath in water and let them air dry.

Step 4: Reviving your geraniums involves cleaning them up, pruning the stems back to healthy green growth, and replanting them in new potting soil about six weeks before your final frost date. Where the new roots will grow, bury the stems two nodes deep. When you notice fresh growth in one to two weeks, keep the plants somewhat dry; after that, keep the soil moist until the plants are big enough to replant outside.

Overwintering geraniums as cuttings

If your light windowsill area is limited or you are concerned that bringing in your entire potted plant would also attract unwanted bugs, this is a nice technique to try. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to multiply your existing geraniums.

To trim plants, you’ll need:

  • a cutting edge.
  • Most hardware stores and garden centers sell rooting hormone, which is sold online.
  • Use little terracotta or plastic pots, or recycle a clear takeaway container for roasted chicken.
  • If you don’t eat chicken, use clear plastic bags to cover the pans.

How should geraniums be cared for over the winter?

Geraniums are incredibly simple to store for the winter—just place them in a cardboard box or a paper bag and secure the top. The following advice will help them survive:

  • Maintain geraniums in a cool, dry area with a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees F.
  • Once a month or so, remove dried leaves from the bag or box and check for mold.
  • Check the stems quickly at the same time; they should be stiff. Throw away any dried-out, shriveled stems you uncover.
  • If you see that the plants are becoming really dry and crispy, give them a brief soak in water.
  • Plants with stems that appear to be blackened or mildewed should be disposed away.

Geraniums are typically kept in a sack upside down. Although the exact cause is unknown, one idea holds that it does so by pushing moisture into the stems. Whatever the cause, storing them in this manner is neither harmful nor necessarily harmful.

Can the leggy geraniums be pruned?

Not sure what to do with geraniums that are too leggy? Aim to prune. You should prune your spindly geraniums by approximately a third before bringing them inside (often in late November). Make sure to get rid of any stems that are sick or dead as well. Geraniums that are too lanky can be pruned to keep them from overgrowing and looking unattractive.

Another method for tying up lanky plants is pinching. This is typically done to mature plants to encourage bushier growth. Once new growth has reached a couple inches (8 cm) high, pinch out around 1/2 to 1 inch (1-2.5 cm) from the tips. This can be done during active growth or soon after trimming.

When geranium leaves become yellow, what does that mean?

Having too much moisture or overwatering is one of the most frequent reasons of yellowing leaves. Geraniums typically have yellow leaves at the bottom when they are overwatered. They could also get water patches that appear pale. If so, you should cease watering right away so that the plants can dry off. Remember that geraniums do not like excessive amounts of water and are drought-tolerant plants.

Geranium yellow leaves can also occur when the water or air are too cold. Since geraniums prefer warm climates, they struggle in cool climates. Geraniums with yellow leaves can be caused by prolonged cold weather, particularly cold, wet weather, or by cold snaps in the spring.

Additionally, a nutrient deficit could be the reason why the geranium leaves turn more yellow than green. Every third watering or once a month, geranium plants should be treated with a comprehensive, water-soluble fertilizer (ideally one with micronutrients). Geraniums’ yellow leaves can be avoided using fertilizer, and the plant will grow larger and produce more blooms as a result.

A geranium with yellow leaves sporadically indicates the presence of a disease. Verticillium, for instance, is a fungus that can result in stunted growth, withering, and brilliant yellow leaves.

What about the yellow-edged geranium leaves? Dehydration or a lack of water are frequently blamed for geranium leaves that have yellow margins or yellow tips. Geraniums require some water even though they can withstand drought. In these situations, you can use your fingers to feel the soil to gauge how dry the plants may be and water accordingly. Trimming the yellowing growth off might also be beneficial.

You can see that geraniums with yellow leaves often only require a little tender loving care in order to recover. If you provide a geranium with what it need, the leaves won’t turn yellow.

Hardy Geraniums vs. Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums should not be confused with hardy geraniums. You might be wondering what makes a geranium different from a pelargonium. Similar to some siblings, they are both members of the same plant family, but they could not be more unlike.

Pelargoniums cannot withstand frost, while hardy geraniums can. Pelargoniums are usually treated as annuals and replanted each year, but true hardy geraniums are perennials that grow back every year. Pelargoniums die in the winter.

Prune your Hardy Geraniums

Your sturdy geraniums will look their best and promote new growth if you prune them properly. By correctly pruning your hardy geraniums after the blooming season, you can encourage repeat blooming. The majority of geraniums can be cut back twice in a single season, which allows them to bloom at least three times.

When to Prune

Your hardy geraniums should be pruned in accordance with the season you are in. Rozanne will require various cuts in the spring, summer, and fall. To maintain your blooms rich and healthy, mark your calendar and adhere to our seasonal trimming recommendations.

What tools you need

Your geraniums may be pruned fairly easily. All you’ll need is the ability to prune, a pair of sharp pruners, your favorite mulch, and your favorite gardening gloves. Watch this video to learn more about pruning strategies in detail.

How to prune

You shouldn’t be concerned that pruning your flower’s back will harm her. The majority of hardy geraniums require trimming to promote new growth and prevent them from encroaching upon other plants.

Trim the plant back to within a few inches of the ground or to about an inch above the main stem once the flowering is completed or you find old growth. Remove any brown stems or yellow leaves after that by going inside.

Soon after trimming, more leaves will start to appear. Some resilient geraniums even have the ability to blossom again. Maintaining correct pruning on your plants encourages new development and keeps them from spilling out throughout your landscape.

What pruning advice do you prefer? Share them with us in a comment on our Facebook page!

What time of year is ideal for taking cuttings?

The majority of softwood cuttings are obtained from the season’s fragile new growth in the spring and early summer. If they are potted by the middle of the summer, they will have grown enough roots to withstand the winter; otherwise, pot them up the following spring.

Do you prune your geraniums in the winter?

First, decide if the type you have is a favorite and well of your time and effort. If it’s not, leave it to fend for itself in the garden and get a different type the following year!

Second, determine if you have adequate room for all of your delicate geranium plants. Few of us, especially if the plants have gotten extremely large, have enough frost-free space to keep every plant. You may either:

  • Cut back the plants you have in containers so they can grow and bush out throughout the winter. If you have a lot of frost-free space, this works.
  • Take pelargonium cuttings, and either discard the old plants or let them survive as long as they can. Cuttings utilize up much less storage space than full-sized plants because they are much smaller.

Can geraniums be split?

Among the most common garden perennials are hardy geraniums, sometimes known as cranesbills. And it’s clear why. They require little care and maintenance, are hardy, easy to grow, and tolerant of a variety of environmental factors.

The bloom color ranges from vibrant to subdued violet, blue, pink, magenta, and white hues, and many have appealing veining in a stronger, contrasting hue. Throughout the summer and well into autumn, several types flower nonstop for months at a time, and some even begin blooming as early as late April. When in bloom, the flowers, which are typically rather small, are produced in such great quantities that they almost completely cover the plants.

Numerous species’ hand-like foliage, which exhibits varied quilting, veining, and color blotching, is also very appealing in and of itself. Additionally, because many of the popularly cultivated kinds are low-growing, they make wonderful ground cover plants due to their dense, carpet-like leaf.

They should not be mistaken with the very similarly related pelargoniums, which aren’t and are primarily used as summer bedding plants, as they are cold- and frost-hardy.


There are kinds that can thrive in direct sunlight, light shade, and even pretty deep shadow. They generally thrive in early morning and late afternoon sun, while some, like Geranium sanguineum and Geranium pratense and their variants, grow well in full light as long as the soil has enough moisture.

Hardy geranium varieties

There is at least one hardy geranium for every garden, every gardener, and every circumstance as there are about 70 species and 700 types to choose from!

Here are the top 10 items that the Royal Horticultural Society suggests:

  • Ann Folkard, geranium
  • (Cinereum Group) Ballerina named Geranium
  • Clarkei Kashmir White Geranium
  • Red geraniums
  • Theodora Mavis Simpson
  • Ingersoll Orion
  • The Mrs. Kendall Clark geranium
  • Wageningen’s Geranium x oxonianum
  • Renardii geranium
  • Jolly Bee and Geranium Rozanne (Gerwat)

Planting hardy geraniums

Hardy geraniums can be planted at any time of year, but planting in the fall or winter will ensure that the plants take root effectively and provide an abundance of flowers in their first season. For planting from late autumn to late winter, mail-order vendors often offer bare-rooted plants.

Make a hole that is sufficiently large to readily fit the rootball. Fork in a layer of organic material, such as compost or planting compost, at the bottom of the hole.

Place the rootball in the planting hole, adjusting the planting depth until the rootball’s top is level with the soil and the rootball is planted at the same depth as it was growing initially.

Fill the planting hole with the excavated soil after adding more organic matter to it. To maintain soil moisture and aid in weed control, thoroughly water the area around the tree, then sprinkle a granular general feed over the surrounding soil. Finally, put a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep mulch of well-rotted garden compost or bark chips around the tree’s root area.

How to care for hardy geraniums

The majority of hardy geraniums are undemanding, low-maintenance plants.

When the weather is dry during the first year, water thoroughly. To maintain healthy plant growth in succeeding years, watering may be required during extended dry spells.

Late spring mulching around the plants will assist retain soil moisture and control weed growth.

Plants may start to seem messy with sloppy growth after the first early flush of blossoms has faded. After the initial flowering, the majority benefit from a trim to freshen the foliage and promote more blooms. To get rid of the outdated, messy growth, just cut the plants with a pair of shears or secateurs, or more forcefully if necessary, to a height of 5-7.5cm (2-3in) above the ground.

Then feed them with a liquid plant food to promote new growth and additional flowering flushes. After each flowering, pruning and fertilizing can be done again to extend the flowering season of many kinds well into the fall.

With the arrival of colder weather in late autumn, most geraniums’ foliage will start to fade. If you trim the plants’ leftover stems and leaves, they’ll grow new, fresh growth the following spring.

Over time, hardy geranium plants expand, spread, and form enormous clumps. These can be chopped into halves or quarters with a sharp spade. This can be done in the spring when they begin to grow or in the autumn. Every three to five years, divide them to maintain good growth and flowering.