Info, articles and FAQs

Taking Scented Geranium Cuttings - Method 1

(August 24, 2008)



Pelargonium cuttings are easily taken from spring onwards although a higher success rate will be achieved in late summer – August/September.

If you haven’t tried taking cuttings from your scenteds before we urge you to have a go as it really is very EASY.  Don’t be put off if some die as, professional and amateur growers alike, none of us ever achieve 100%; we all have casualties.   Describing taking cuttings might sound as if it is complicated but it really isn’t, so do have a go.  As insurance against fatalities take more cuttings than are needed and if you have surplus plants they make a great gift for your friends and family.


Here’s how to take cuttings the easy way. 


  • First select a healthy plant that has lots of new growth.
  • Choose a strong healthy shoot and cut it just above the third leaf joint below the growing tip.
  • Neatly trim the cut end with a clean sharp knife or scissors just below the joint.  The reason you do this is the plant releases its own natural rooting chemical at these points.  Never use rooting hormone on pelargoniums/geraniums.
  • Trim off all of the leaves from the shoot and leave the top two.
  • Remove any flowers or buds as you want the plant’s energy to go into making roots and not flowers.
  • If you are not potting up the prepared cuttings straight away place the prepared cuttings in a polythene bag and put in the fridge.
  • COMPOST TYPE IS IMPORTANT – use either a seed or potting compost for cuttings.  A small bag is quite reasonable and does go a long way.  The reason you use these types of compost as opposed to a multi-purpose is that the cuttings do not need additional nutriments at this stage.  General multi-purpose compost has a lot of stuff added to it.
  • Fill the pots with compost to ½ inch – 1” below the top rim and gently firm.  Do not compact the compost too hard.
  • WATER – stand your pots filled with the compost in a bowl of water and observe when the compost is just moist.  Don’t let it become saturated.  Moist is just right.  Wet is no good.  Leave the pot/s to drain for a while.
  • Insert the cuttings singly using a small pot or use a 5” pot and space about 5 – 6 cuttings evenly.  Gently firm in the cuttings to avoid air pockets.
  • Place the pots in a warm light position but not in full sun.
  • Additionally, to speed up the rooting process, you may insert small sticks around the pot and cover with a polythene bag to create a mini-propagator.  The bag will need removing each day and turn inside out.  You don’t want the moisture dripping on the cuttings or they will rot.
  • Propagator – if you have a propagator, heated or unheated, use this instead of the polythene bags.
  • After a week the pots will need watering and do this by standing in a bowl of water and letting the compost take the water from underneath.  This also promotes root growth and reduces the risk of grey mould attacking the tender cuttings.
  • WHEN ARE THEY ROOTED?  As a guide – when new leaves appear.
  • At this stage they will need potting on into a 3” pot.


It is advisable to store new potted on cuttings in a conservatory, on a bright window sill or in a heated greenhouse over their first winter as like all scented geraniums they do need a frost free environment.


Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

Annie and Guy



heel cuttings

pinching out cuttings

Click here to return to the Info, articles and FAQ's page