One of the best flowers in my garden that gives me joy is the “Martha Washington” geranium (Zone 5-10). The beautiful, velvety ruffled-edge petals comes in single to three colors in one flower. The leaves release a citrusy fragrance when crushed.
This wonderful geranium is easy to care for, requires little water and loves a sunny location. They flower well in evening temperatures of about 50-60 degrees F. This tough plant can cover bare spots in the yard.
I have found that the easiest way to propagate geraniums is by planting cuttings. It involves very little effort and doesn’t cost anything. So if there’s any space in the yard that needs to be filled, this is the perfect spot for the cutting. As long as it is a sunny location, it will thrive.
The process starts with cutting 6-8 inch stems of the geranium that are healthy. Next, I remove the lower leaves up to two inches from the bottom. If there are flowers or buds, I remove that too. Why? This step ensures that the plant’s energy will be more focused on growing more stems and leaves and not on the blooming. Then I just literally stick the plant directly on the ground or in a pot and it roots. I make sure sure at least 1-2 inches of the stem is buried in the ground. How easy is that? And I press the soil lightly to secure the plant in an upright position. The last thing to do is to water the geranium well.
As with all new plantings, this new geranium cutting needs to be watered regularly until it is established. So I start with watering 2-3 times a week, depending on the weather. The plant will thrive with less water once it gets established.
The best time to cut and plant geranium cuttings is in the fall or early spring if there is no danger of frost. The cool weather is ideal for the roots to develop and the plant cutting does not get stressed from the sun’s heat.
When I plant geranium cuttings in the fall, by springtime the plant has grown into a mound about 12 inches high. I fertilize it 1-2 times in the spring, and then the flowers appear in beautiful clusters. There are so many flower clusters in one plant that it appears to be overloaded with flowers.
The colors of geranium I grow in my garden are solid lavender, white with pink edges, and a tricolor one with pink and red edges with white center. This summer it gives me joy looking at the gorgeous blooms.
It is so important to prune one-third of the plant in the fall once it stops blooming. This pruning will clean it up and encourage more new growth in the spring. Then I also water less at this time when we get lots of rainfall.
I hope you try growing more geraniums from cuttings. Let me tell you that when I look at the sea of richly-colored blooms in the garden, it gives me so much joy. My neighbors have asked me for cuttings and now they’re enjoying the blooms too.