How to propagate and split perennial geraniums

Written by annita lawson
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How to propagate and split perennial geraniums
Make more geraniums by splitting up a clump. (Musat/iStock/Getty Images)

Perennial geraniums, also known as cranesbill or hardy geraniums, have delicate-looking, deep green foliage and small blooms available in red, blue, purple, pink and white. The flowers are long-lasting, appearing from early summer to autumn. Perennial geraniums vary in height from 15 to 75 cm (6 to 30 inches), depending upon the variety. They are the ideal choice for busy gardeners, as they require little maintenance to thrive. The plants can be propagated in spring, late summer or early fall by splitting the roots of a healthy, established clump.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Spade
  • Knife
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Select a healthy, sturdy-looking side shoot from the outer edge of well-established perennial geranium.

  2. 2

    Loosen the soil gradually with a sharp spade until the roots of the side shoot can be easily lifted from the ground.

  3. 3

    Use a sharp knife to sever any roots still attached to the main clump. Examine the roots and cut away any that are damaged.

  4. 4

    Wrap the roots of the newly divided geraniums loosely in moistened paper towels and place the plants in a shady location to keep them from drying out.

  5. 5

    Dig a new planting hole the same depth and 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) wider than the roots of the newly divided geranium.

  6. 6

    Remove the paper towels and plant the geranium at the same level it was growing before. Water until the soil is moist all the way to the roots.

  7. 7

    Continue to water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Perennial geraniums do best in full or partial shade and soil that holds moisture well without being soggy.

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