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Hi there, am new to this site but been gardening for years.

Am not very successful with cuttings so have taken up and potted all my geraniums. Can anyone tell me how often I water them if at all? 


  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,738

    Hardly any watering at all.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • I am trying something new for me this year. Digging up some of the geraniums and clipping them back and hanging them to dry, I'm storing them in a box. I use to take cuttings and planting them using root hormone but I was sick of wasting space and soil and time on ones that don't make it. Switched to rooting cuttings in water for the past few years, I have maybe lost two or three cuttings this way.

    I think you want your geraniums to go dormant so they need to be dry and in a cool dark place.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,155

    I take it you mean pelargoniums and not hardy geraniums Julie? 

    They're usually quite easy to get cuttings from, as long as you keep them on the dry side. Give them some good light and ventilation, to stop them rotting, and just forget about them. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • That is really interesting. I've never heard of doing it that way Johnny. 

    Thank you very much,as you say a lot of soil used in potting them up. I like your idea and will give it a go.image

  • Yes faithful,  I was talking pelargoniums. Trouble being I only have an unheated greenhouse(small) to put them in. Those and other plants I intend overwintering. Hope they don't freeze. Thanks for advice yourself and Papi Jo.image

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Julie, pelargoniums don't need a heated GH. If it gets cold cover them with fleece and keep them dry as a bone. I don't grow them for myself but I have to look after several hundred for a client. They survive perfectly happy in dry compost and I take cuttings when they come into the GH and pop the cuttings into compost straight from the bag and leave them too it. The GH only gets heated when temps go below -2 or 3 and by the time spring comes I've got extra plants and suffer very few losses. They don't get any water till about mid March.

  • keeping them dry is crucial. I keep mine in an unheated room indoors with as much light as possible between mid October and mid April. They go down to sticks overwinter but come back in spring. I only ever give them a small amount of water if they are actually wilting. 

    Actually, though, they are among the easiest plants to root from cuttings. Naughty example--I stole a small section of one from a neglected windowbox image

    took it home, had a pot full of compost where another plant had just been transferred to the open ground;

    didn't have time so I poked the stem into the used compost and voila.

    The key things are actually that they dont like or need soft treatment. Don't even begin watering a pelargonium cutting, unless you think black is the new black. Don't bother with hormone treatment. Mine wasn't even covered (though normally I would have done this). They are drought-tolerant plants that store reserves of water in their stems which tide them over while they develop new roots. What kills cuttings is too much fertilizer and humidity. You are probably being too kind to them.

    The other thing is seizing the right psychological moment. Don't take either spindly thin bits or fat woody old bits. A nice firm chubby but still green shoot taken in about May is perfect, remove all the lower leaves leaving only a smal pair at the top (too much leaf surface and they will wilt and die). Plunge into compost. Preferably, nice new compost. Or vermiculite because you want a relatively low-fertility mix. Make sure the leaf scars where you have pulled off the lower leaves are well below the soil surface--the roots come from here. Do not water. Do not feed. You can put a plastic bag over the top. Leave alone in a bright spot without full-on sun until you see new growth. 

    You can, then, end up with either mature plants that wander elegantly around on their old growth, or a young vigorous plant from a new cutting.

  • I take cuttings but also with the large plants when I lift them for the winter I knock as much soil off them, without damaging them as I can and then hang them upside down with garden twine in the shed. They completely dry off then in early spring you hopefully should see very fine roots appearing then you pot them up, don't wait do it has soon as you see this happening.

    Don't forget to put a label on has to which colour they are.

    you may loose a few but they haven't took up soil or much space.

  • Hello everybody. Never belonged to any forum before and  I can't believe how helpful everyone is!! Thank you all for your advice some of which I will surely try and Chrissie ,your the second person to tell me about drying the plants. I'd never heard of that before. I have enough info now to give a couple of ideas a try. Thanks x

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,155

    Julie - glad you're already finding the forum useful. image

    Just to add to what others have said, my mum was even able to take cuttings of pelargoniums and produce viable plants, and she could kill plastic ones!  image

    She did pretty much what has been said. Cut bits off, shove 'em in some compost, stick them on a windowsill somewhere and let them get on with it. In spring - voila - more plants. Cold wet soil is what sees them off. Good luck with yours. Practice makes perfect   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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