Mid March and I have just spent some enjoyable time and effort on my Pelargonium stock plants aka Geraniums.
Spring Clean and Tidy
- Through winter I have kept the plants on windowsills in good sized 5 inch pots. I gave minimal water and no fertiliser since autumn but notice they are now beginning to revive and shoot up.
- I removed all brown or slightly damaged leaves and old detritus from the soil surface.
- I broke up the top soil where it had formed a thin crust that inhibited water penetration.
- Then it was time to water with a weak solution of a general fertilizer.
- I pruned out branches that were in awkward positions opening up space for new shoots to develop. This had the advantage of improving the shape of the plant and providing stock for cuttings (see below)
Spring Cuttings & Pinching Out
- This is the time of year to increase your geranium stock by taking cuttings and my spring clean provided the opportunity.
- I am confident I will get more rooted cuttings than I will need but any trimmed shoots longer than one & half inches were placed around the edge of a plastic pot containing a gritty compost.
- For pelargoniums hormone or rooting powder is not effective and may encourage rotting.
- In 5 weeks or so (just as the frost is going) rooted plants will be ready to be replanted and by mid summer I hope they will be flowering strongly.
- Choice plants and varieties will be selected for growing on as houseplants.
- Pinching out the top of stems will force the geranium to grow two new stems making a bushier plant. I did this partially during the spring clean as even stock plants can put on a good show.