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Propagating Geraniums

Geraniums (Pelargonium) are versatile plants: They are low maintenance indoors and out, and they are easy to propagate from cuttings so you can increase your collection or give small plants as gifts. Stem cuttings taken from the parent plant root in about a month with the proper care and regular watering.

Planting tray
Coarse sand
Single-edged razor blade
Rooting hormone
4-inch plastic pots
Potting mix

Planting How-To
1. Fill a planting tray or wooden box with a mix of 2 parts coarse sand and 1 part perlite. This porous medium makes it easy for roots to form. Pack the medium with a brick, and then etch narrow trenches for the cuttings with a pencil.

2. Using a new, clean single-edged razor blade, carefully cut off a 3- to 5-inch piece of geranium that includes 3-5 nodes (a node is the growth point on the stem where leaves originate). Trim the cutting to just below the last node, and remove all but the top 2 leaves by snapping them off, gently pulling down and away from the stem.

3. Dip the bottom of the stem, including at least one node, in water and then into rooting hormone. Space cuttings in the planting medium about 3 inches apart so they are not touching and at a depth of 1/2 inch. Place in indirect light, water well, and keep moist during rooting.

4. When new growth appears, you'll know your cuttings have rooted. Transfer them to individual pots with fast-draining potting mix. Water thoroughly after potting, put them in a sunny location, and enjoy your new plants.

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