Propagating & Pruning Geraniums

How to Prune Pelargoniums

Propagating and pruning geraniums. How to propagate, pinch and prune geraniums. Growing geraniums from seeds. Cutting back and rooting Pelargonium cuttings.

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Geraniums in hanging pots adorn the walls of a courtyard garden.

Proper pruning is the key to growing geraniums in containers. Left to themselves, the plants will become leggy and begin to sprawl unattractively.


How to Pinch Geraniums

Pinching the stem tips back regularly as the plant grows is the best way to keep it full and flowering.

You must deadhead geraniums when the blooms fade to keep them neat and flowering. Just pinch the faded flower stalks off while you are admiring and enjoying your plants.


Cutting Back Geraniums

If you fail to deadhead or pinch the plants back regularly and they become leggy, you will need to cut them back hard to make them attractive again.

Cut the stems back to 3-4 inches above the soil.

This will not hurt the plant but it will probably be painful for you as you will be removing flowers and buds when you do this.

Sometimes, when pruning geraniums in this fashion, you will experience some stem rot just below the cuts. Use a sharp knife to make your cuts and wipe the blade with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol between cuts.


How to Propagate Geraniums
from Seeds

You have to plan ahead when starting geraniums from seed. The fine seed must be sown indoors 12-16 weeks before the last frost in your growing area.

Sprinkle the seed evenly over moist planting media and barely cover it as it needs light to germinate.

Seed geraniums are best used as outdoor bedding plants. When growing geraniums indoors, favor the cutting grown types.


Propagate Geraniums from Cuttings

Pelargonium domesticum spilling out of a strawberry pot.

This is the most commonly used method of starting geraniums.

Take 4 inch tip cuttings. Make your cuts a quarter inch below a node (where the leaves emerge from the stem).

Strip off the lower leaves and let the cut end dry before inserting a third of the stem into barely moist sand or peat based growing media. Keep the media barely moist--never let it become soggy when rooting geraniums or the cuttings will rot.

Cuttings will root throughout the growing season.

When overwintering geraniums, it is better to take cuttings of bedding plants that you wish to carry over than to dig the plants up and pot them. You end up with a fresh "new" plant instead of an old tired one.

Take a Peek at My Other Geranium Pages:

Scented Geranium

Regal Geraniums

Zonal Geraniums

The Problem with White Geraniums

Cranesbill: a True, Blue Geranium

Go from Pruning Geraniums back to Growing Geraniums

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