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Perennials: Cutting back geraniums

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Forum: PerennialsReplies: 5, Views: 232
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Denver, CO
(Zone 5b)

September 23, 2004
2:19 PM

Post #1062636

I have a HUGE Martha Washington geranium (4.5' diameter, 3' tall) which I have over-wintered 3 years (we're in zone 5). She is in full flower right now, but must be moved inside soon. I've attached a photo. Once inside, it blooms most of the year, but not as much since it gets less sun. BUT it's so big now that it's a struggle to move it. Also, this last summe,r the center was a little bare with most of the action happening further down on the stems. I'd like to cut it back a LOT but don't want to kill it. How much can I remove at one time and still expect it to live? I know from years of deadheading and trimming it, etc. that new leaves and stems are generated when older foliage is removed so I'm hoping that if I cut off major portions of the existing stems, I'll essentially get a "new" plant. Last winter I saw a group of geraniums at a hospital that had been brought in from the patio and absolutely every stem had been cut back to just a couple of inches and at that time they were regrowing leaves, but I haven't seen them since so I don't know if such an extreme trim worked out long-term. Does anyone have a suggestion - or prediction?

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Okeechobee, FL
(Zone 10a)

November 4, 2004
4:50 AM

Post #1128224

Sterilize sharp knife. Prune like a natural bush. remove crossing canes and cut right above leaf nodes. I believe you can let cuttings dry or harden off until they calous, then root for new plants. I'm not a pro, maybe one will come along.Sidney


Oviedo, FL
(Zone 9b)

July 18, 2006
12:49 AM

Post #2517359

I dip my cuttings of regular geraniums in a little rooting hormone powder and then stick them in soil. I go for the woodier stems and they root readily this way. Only the teensiest minis with extra small stems have trouble with this. If I didn't propagate my fave ones each summer, I would lose some as my indoor space is limited and I don't have room for more than a few full sized ones. I have a 'Vancouver Centennial' that is nine years old and I keep pruned back. The cuttings have provided interesting plants for our Garden Club's plant sale over the years.
Columbia Heights, MN
(Zone 4a)

July 18, 2006
3:01 AM

Post #2517827

What is this about letting the cutting calous before rooting? Is there a difference between rooting a zonal as opposed to a regal?
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

July 28, 2006
2:23 PM

Post #2558661

hmm i always just cut mine and stick them into soil with lots of perilite seems to always work so far.


Oviedo, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 26, 2006
7:06 AM

Post #2660713

All my cuttings but one took and that failed because I think it fell out of the potting soil and dried up. I have about two dozen plants of about 6-7 varieties. A few even have flowers. I will try to take a picture tomorrow if the sun comes out.

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