Pelargonium cuttings

More than a year after starting I still haven’t mentioned pelargoniums. That’s the problem with pelagoniums – you know they will always be there so you tend to overlook them in favour of something that flowers for a few days and grabs your attention. But this is really unfair of me because I would hate to be without pelargoniums and they were some of the first plants I ever grew or took cuttings of.

Pots of scented leaf pelargoniums last summer including, from front left: 'Sweet Mimosa', 'Orange Fizz' and 'Ashby' and 'Lara Starshine' at the back

Pots of scented leaf pelargoniums last summer including, from front left: ‘Sweet Mimosa’, ‘Orange Fizz’ and ‘Ashby’ and ‘Lara Starshine’ at the back

Of all the sections, my favourites are the scented leaf types because they are so easy to grow and there is such variety.

The best time to take cuttings is August because they root readily and the young plants are then a good size to put out in late spring. But I did not have the facilities last August and the prop bench is only just repaired so I took the cuttings last week. I am only using about half a dozen varieties here and of these maybe the best is ‘Lara Starshine’ (although ‘Scarlet Pet’ may really be the one).

'Lara Starshine' in August

‘Lara Starshine’ in August

‘Lara Starshine’ is a fast grower and makes a great mound of fragrant foliage without pinching and although the flowers are not huge they are pretty and it flowers on and on. Despite the fact that the heat in the greenhouse was not sorted till late December and the temperature before that dropped to 0c a few times the large pot in all the photos has been in bloom since the day it was planted (with 3 young plants rooted last January).

'Lara Starshine' in the pot planted last May in the greenhouse last week, covered in bloom.

‘Lara Starshine’ in the pot planted last May in the greenhouse last week, covered in bloom.

So, to make sure I have lots more plants this year I took plenty of cuttings last week. These were rooted in a mix of 50/50 compost and perlite and placed on a prop bench with bottom heat set at 20c. I do not use rooting hormone for pelargonium cuttings. I don’t use it much anyway but I think it actually doesn’t help pelargoniums much at all.

pels 4

Fingers crossed now – I will let you know when they root.




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4 Comments on “Pelargonium cuttings”

  1. digwithdorris
    February 9, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    I will be interested to know how well the cuttings take. Tell me what sort of heated mat have you got? I am considering investing in one.

    • thebikinggardener
      February 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

      I need to show a pic of the prop bench really. In the past I have made a sand bench with soil-warming cables but this time I used two electric blankets. These can be rolled up and stored after use and come with a thermostat and sensor. Because the bench is quite large I used two, side-by-side. I got them from Two Wests and Elliot who I have dealt with in the past (and, for the record, have recommended products in the calalogue though not for money)

  2. sueturner31
    February 13, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Lara starshine looks beautiful…that’s yet another for my ever growing list….

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