Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ivy Geranium Cuttings Ignore Winter

Skylight & Ivy Geranium Basket 

Do you have a skylight in your home? We have a great skylight  in an upstairs bathroom. It has become an annual tradition to bring in an Ivy Geranium basket as the first frost approaches. This year was no different. I cut it back and pulled out  pesky weeds and hung it up. The photo to the left shows some healthy growth after pruning. While you do not see any pink blooms in this photo  I have enjoyed  many pink blooms for the past few months and it has added some warm color and charm to those cold, dreary, winter days.

Ivy Geranium Cuttings 

As my in-house Ivy Geranium basket began sending out long shoots it became apparent that I had to trim it back.  A few days before Christmas I took some scissors and gave it a trim. Naturally, it goes against my instinct to throw anything away that might grow, so I took several leafy geranium stems to my garden room in the basement. I prepared them to be cuttings. 

I chose my preferred stems (an even dozen) and placed them in a 12 pack of growing medium. (peat moss, pearlite, and some rich humus;  harvested from my 2011-2012 compost heap. I put the flat of cuttings into a plastic tray, set them on top of an electric heating pad and then poured  about an inch of tepid water in the bottom of the plastic tray. The heat reaches a temperature of about 60-65 degrees and warms the soil just right.

I also turned on the florescent grow light so that the green leaves would receive a good days light every day. In about two weeks or so (should have logged it precisely) I could see that several of the cuttings seemed happy and green; my instinct told me germination had occurred in these. The six pots you see above and the pot to the left are my successfull results. Some of the original cuttings had turned  yellow; a sure sign that the stem did not yield roots. I ended up with six successful cuttings. I was very pleased with this result.  All of the pictures on this page are ivy geraniums; photographed on January 5, 2013.

New Growth

I will publish pictures of these cuttings for the next few months so you can get an idea of how much time it takes to grow into a mature plant, and how long it takes to get flower buds and blooms. The cutting above is doing very well. The small leaf is a new leaf. The picture to the right shows new sprouts at the base of the plant. The new growth is robust. It will be interesting to see how many stems will burst forth from the center of the plant. I want to encourage you to begin experimenting with  propagation of your own ivy geraniums. It is great fun and definitely saves you some cash. See you in the Garden. It is only a few months until Spring.  


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