We will use a Zonal ‘geranium’ for our demonstration. Select succulent new growth from the plant and remove all of the lower leaves sparing the topmost 3 to 5 leaves, the larger the leaves the fewer you leave as we must strike a balance between the leaves and the cuttings ability to maintain moisture while rooting. Also remove the stipules and any flowers or buds. Make a perpendicular cut through a leaf node along the stem, this becomes your cutting.
You will notice that your cutting is only an inch or two long. Next, we recommend using ‘White Willow Bark Powder’, as the rooting hormone, as it is a natural hormone and is not toxic to the tender Geranium stems. You will find that your success rate will improve and the cuttings will root in a much shorter time. Some of the large nurseries are now switching to using the powder since time is money for them. Simply dab the freshly prepared cutting into the powder leaving a liberal amount on the cutting.
The choice is yours when it comes to the medium in which to root the cutting, choose a commercial cutting or seed mix or select a commercially made fiber ‘plug’ or ‘Q-plug’ from Charley’s Greenhouse (an online mail order supplier) .
The cutting will root within 7 to 21 days, depending on the variety and the difficulty for propagation. Cuttings root best when the temperatures stay between 70 and 72 degrees, you may wish to use a thermostatically controlled ‘propagation mat’. Cuttings will be slow to root during hot weather or may not root at all.