Inside Look At Rooting Scented Geraniums
Home gardeners find that rooting scented-leaved geraniums is not always easy. Often they have a favourite plant they want to propagate and after several attempts meet with failure. Among the many kinds, some root very easily, while others are very tricky.
Of the popular scented-leaved geraniums, the lemon-scented and the rose-scented varieties root easily and quickly under common propagating methods.
The lemon-scented (Pelargonium crispum) is a small stemmed plant, with tiny crinkled leaves, which requires considerably more water than most geraniums. Take cuttings about 3-3/4 inches long and trim off all leaves from the bottom up to 1-1/4 inches. Make a clean cut beneath an eye, dip the end into 3X rooting powder and insert the cuttings in clean sand, deep enough so that the lower leaves do not touch the sand. Shade until signs of growth are evident. Then remove shade and keep plants a little drier.
Oak-leaved varieties (Pelargonium quercifolium) are not too difficult. Take tender cuttings, but if they are hardened, root them under drier conditions. A 1X rooting powder is best. Practically all hardy and easy-to-root as well are the flowering scented varieties, none of which demand anything beyond normal cultural conditions. Here again water well, and allow the sand to become rather dry, but not arid, before watering again.
Spice-scented and fruit-scented varieties vary considerably in their needs, but here is how some of the more familiar kinds should be handled.
Use Rooting Powder
Cuttings from the nutmeg geranium (Pelargonium fragrans) and its varieties are made from the heaviest wood available and dipped in a No. 1 or No. 2 rooting powder. These are dependable rooters, but it is best to leave them in the sand for three or four months until the tuberous-type roots have formed.
Apple-scented geraniums (Pelargonium odoratissimum) are propagated from the very short joints which radiate from the main stem and then potted directly into 2-1/2″ pots filled with good soil. They will invariably lose all their leaves, but will fill out with new growth. So it is a must to know why there are brown tips on plants.
Ginger-scented, lemon-balm and almond-scented are all very easy to root under ordinary conditions.
Gooseberry-leaved geranium (Pelargonium grossularioides) is another very small-wooded variety which should he well shaded and given a little more than the usual amount of water, especially after the first week or two in sand.
Mint-scented varieties (Pelargonium tomentosam) including Peppermint, Pungent Peppermint and Joy Lucile require only the usual practices given cuttings.