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Geranium crispum propagation?

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by Zone5a on October 29, 2004 08:19 PM
I've tried rather unsuccessfully to propagate cuttings of Geranium crispum "Prince of Orange" over the last number of years. My "Prince of Orange" has viola like blooms of lavendar with maroon spots and small, relative to regular zonal geraniums, diamond shaped leaves with serrated edges.

I've tried numerous ways to get these cuttings to root - sitting them in water, using a No.1 rooting hormone in a soiless mix and bottom heat. I've tried taking the cuttings in the summer, late summer and early fall. I've taken new growth, mid-season growth, old growth cuttings.

Altogether I've had maybe at total of 1% root.

Has anyone tried to root cuttings from this scented geranium and had any success? If so would you be so kind as to share with me your secret.
by Newt on October 31, 2004 08:17 AM
Hi Zone 5a,
I'm wondering if you tried letting a callus form on the cut end before putting it into the medium. From this site:
http://www.members.tripod.com/~Gardeningguru/index-17.html

"Remove a 3 to 4 inch cutting from an established plant by using a sharp pruner or scissor. There are two different ways that you can go from here. One way is to leave the cutting on a table overnight, no water or anything. This will cause the cut to callus and it is from this new callus that the roots will form. The second way is to use a mild rooting hormone and dip the cutting into it, tapping off the excess. A strong concentration of rooting hormone will kill the cutting, so be gentle. You can use a sandy mix as a rooting �soil�. Place the cutting in this mix, keeping the soil moist but not soaking wet. Within three to four weeks the cutting should have some starter roots. The easiest way to tell is to see if the top has new growth. Plants will only grow if they have the roots to supply the nutrients."

Maybe that will help. Hope so.
Newt

* * * *
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
by Zone5a on November 01, 2004 07:05 PM
Newt,

Thanks for your reply. However, I've been careful to let the cut dry out before I try to root it. Maybe it's that I'm trying to root it in soil-less soil which I'm keeping to damp. As I mentioned earlier I've no problem with zonal geraniums just this particular. Have you had any difference success using sand instead of a peat based mixture?

Rob
by Newt on November 02, 2004 05:07 AM
Hi Rob,
I've never rooted any of the pelargoniums, but have done so very many plants and shrubs. I've found that soil-less mix is not a good medium for most cuttings. You're correct about it staying too damp. I think it also tends to smother the stem when it's wet. I use perlite, vermiculite or a combo of the two. I would suggest that you try the sand or the perlite mixed with some vermiculite. Maybe a mix of 60% perlite to 40% vermiculite or 75% perlite to 25% vermiculite. If you use the perlite, be sure to use a pencil to make a hole to recieve the cutting. You will probably need to wet the perlite first, make your hole using a circular motion with the pencil once inserted, so that there is a hole for the cutting and then water again after putting in the cutting. The perlite is sharp and can cut a tender stem.

Also, if you are using the rooting hormone powder, be sure and remove as much of the rooting hormone powder as possible as the article mentions that too strong a hormone will kill the cutting. I do think that the #1 is the mildest, but I'm not sure of that. I've never thought to look, but are there directions on the packet/container to make a solution of the hormone? I'm being a bit lazy here and don't feel like seeking mine out to check. Maybe making a solution and just a dip into it might help.

I sure hope this helps,
Newt

* * * *
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
by shalimar on November 02, 2004 03:13 PM
The Geranium crispum is one of my favourite plants because of its fragrance. I find it is a tough little plant and have taken numerous cuttings which took successfully each time. I now have a plant on my windowsill and another pot in a bathroom!

It really doesn't need much fuss, and I put the cuttings straight into a small pot of multipurpose compost, and within a few weeks it puts out new leaves. In the pot in in the kitchen, whenever a branch becomes too long, I cut it off and stick the end into the same pot, and after it takes I pass it on to a friend.

So I wish you luck with your next cutting. Should you still not have any luck, email me and I will send you a rooted cutting.
by Zone5a on November 05, 2004 06:29 PM
Newt, Ireland:

Thanks for your replies. I've got a number of cuttings on the go right now and it seems like they are starting to root. I'll check later today when I get home just to make sure. You've given me a number of alternatives and I'll just keep plugging away until I manage to get acceptable results.

Thanks...again.

Rob
by Newt on November 05, 2004 09:11 PM
Rob,

This is great news!! I hope you can keep us updated.

Newt

* * * *
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

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