This week, I just planted my geraniums outside. They look just lovely. I like geraniums, because they are an unusual-looking flower, and they add such a nice splash of color. Geraniums grow in any kind of soil, as long as it isn't saturated with water. They prefer slightly acidic soil, though, and like to be in full sun. They are hardy in zones 8-10, which means that if you don't live in those zones, every year, you'll have to buy new ones - unless you learn how to propagate them.
My mom taught me how to do this, so I'll share it with you:
1. Fill a small container with about 4 inches of moist rooting medium. You can buy this at a garden supply store, or make your own using sand, perlite, and vermiculite.
2. Cut 3-5 inches off the tips of several healthy shoots. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the stem. Keep in mind that some of your shoots may die, so have enough to allow for that.
3. Dip the stems into a commercial rooting hormone, which can also be bought at a garden supply store.
4. Push a pencil into the rooting medium about 2 inches deep. Then insert the prepared cutting and firm the medium around it to hold it in place.
5. Place the container in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight.
6. Check the plants to make sure the rooting medium is moist. Do this several times a week.
7. Once the roots are established, you can transplant them into larger containers. How do you know if the roots are established? Just give the plant a gentle tug. If it doesn't want to come out, the roots are established.
Did you know that geraniums can come in a variety of scents? Yes they do! Lemon, rose, apple, and mint are some of the interesting varieties. Next time you visit your nursery, see if you can find them. Rub their leaves and have a sniff!