Can geraniums root in water?
May 18, 2008 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Can I propagate a geranium stem cutting in plain water, or do I have to use some other kind of medium?
posted by footnote to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Best answer: If it's a zonal geranium (the most common kind), they root quite readily in water. Let the cut stems dry in the air for a couple of hours first to reduce the chance of rot. Other geraniums, like the ivy type, aren't quite as easy in my experience and would be more likely to root if you use rooting hormone, sterile container mix and probably a humidity tent.
posted by vers at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2008

Best answer: Second that, but use distilled water or bottle water: I had trouble with the ends rotting when I tried to use tap water.
posted by francesca too at 2:34 PM on May 18, 2008

Best answer: I've had success both with water and straight into dirt.
posted by b33j at 2:40 PM on May 18, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all - it's been sitting in regular tap water since Wednesday, so I'll switch it to bottled water and report back in a few weeks!
posted by footnote at 2:46 PM on May 18, 2008

I've re-propagated geraniums for years as I've moved from one place to the next. I always just dip the cutting in some root tone and plug it right into some potting soil. The root tone is a fungicide that prevents rot, and you just need to be sure not to over-water. I've done this successfully with many varieties of geranium. I've never used water to propagate, so I can't comment on that, but it seems possibly like an unnecessary step, when they can go straight into planters or pots. I also store cuttings during the winter. If you keep them in a dark, dry place, like a cardboard box or paper sack, they go dormant and will come back to life when you re-plant them in the spring, following the same method.
posted by amusebuche at 9:26 PM on May 18, 2008

I've rooted geraniums in water. It's slow, but it works.

It seemed to me that once I'd rooted a cutting in water, the next batch of cuttings rooted more quickly in the water I'd used for the previous batch. Maybe a cutting exudes some kind of water-soluble rooting hormone once it gets going; I dunno. It'd be interesting to try a little experiment with that.
posted by sculpin at 1:54 PM on May 19, 2008

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