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Taking Scented Geranium Cuttings - Method 2

(September 15, 2008)
Taking Heel Cuttings - Method 2
  
Heel cuttings are probably the easist way of increasing your plant stock and need less attention once done.  For the Beginner this method is probably easier than Method 1.
  1. Select a scented geranium that has plenty of new growth and one that is quite bushy.  You don't want to strip it completely!
  2. Locate a new branch/stem that looks like this season's growth, as opposed to a woody looking one.  It is possible to take one or several cuttings from one plant depending on the size.
  3. Gently pull the stem downwards away from the main plant.  You should now have a complete stem with a heel at the bottom - a heel looks like a little piece of the stem bottom sticking out at an angle.
  4. Trim off the lower leaves carefully with a sharp knife or scissors so as not to wound the new growth and leave the top leaves - this will vary depending on the size of the stem, you have to use some judgment at this point.  In other words you don't want to strip the leaves completely on a large stem but at the same time you do need to take off quite a lot so the plant's energy is concentrated into root growth and not leaves.
  5. Insert the heel cutting into a gritty multi-purpose compost with the top leaves sitting approx. 1 - 2 inches above the compost.  We always add a slow release granule fertiliser as well at this stage as some bought multi-purpose composts don't always contain a lot of nourishment and this type of cutting does need it at this stage.
  6. Give the potted up cutting a watering in and place on a sunny window sill but not in direct sun or in a greenhouse.  The compost should be moist but never wet.
  7. Check regularly that the pot doesn't completely dry out and water accordingly.
  8. Has the cutting rooted?  After a couple of weeks gently, and we do mean gently, pull from the top and see if you can feel resistance.  If you can it will have rooted.  You should also start to see new leaf growth.

Like all cuttings the time it takes to root will vary, so have patience.  This method does tend to root fairly quick and the plant will be true to type of the Parent.

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