How Geraniums Reproduce

Written by rs wagner
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How Geraniums Reproduce
"Geraniaceae" is the scientific name for the family of geraniums. (red flower image by April K from

Geraniums are reproduced by using both seeds and root cuttings; however, differences in the method of reproduction produces two separate types of geranium plants. Both reproductive styles of propagating geraniums have advantages and disadvantages.

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Root Cuttings

Geraniums produced by root cuttings are genetic reproductions of the parent plant, but their mature plants will not produce seeds. Flowers from root cuttings are generally larger than those grown from seed. To propagate geraniums in this manner, you first cut the roots, then place the cuttings in a separate container until mature. You apply a rooting medium to the cuttings, which assists with the growth process.

In the past, nurseries only grew geraniums from root cuttings.
In the past, nurseries only grew geraniums from root cuttings. (geraniums image by Jacques PALUT from

Seed Geraniums

Geraniums grown from seed mature faster than cuttings, but they are not genetically the same as the parent plant. Plant characteristics from geraniums grown from seed may be influenced by cross-pollination, producing flowers of a different colour than the parent plant. A more compact plant is produced from seed; therefore, seed geraniums are less expensive than root-cut geraniums.

Cross-pollination alters geranium genetics.
Cross-pollination alters geranium genetics. (bee and apple blossom image by Alex from


Seed collection should take place three to four weeks after the flowers bloom and begin to darken. suggests preserving collected seeds for later reproduction by placing them in a paper bag and storing them in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant. Plant both seeds and root cuttings outdoors in the late fall or early spring. Make your root cuttings the "thickness of a pencil," says "Fine Gardening" magazine. Take root cuttings during the dormant stage, between November and February, according to "Fine Gardening."

How Geraniums Reproduce
Root-cut geraniums are called "Zonal Geraniums." (geranium flower image by photobar from

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