The cuttings just die. I have tried rooting in water, in soil, with rooting powder and without, woody stalks, soft stalks, with greenhouse and without, they just die in 1-2 weeks.

  • The plants are incredibly hardy and easy to propagate. There must be something simple going on...are you using potting soil? Are you fertilizing? (don't). How big are the pots? (small 3" max). How large are your cuttings? What exactly happens on a time line? Are you using a dome or saranwrap as a little greenhouse? Are these starts in direct sun? Out of doors or indoors? Send us some pictures and as much detail as you are able!
    – stormy
    Mar 19, 2017 at 20:53
  • I have been told by several people that while other types of geraniums are easy to propagate, the scented geraniums cuttings have a low rate of success.
    – user16928
    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:15
  • I have used every type of propagation described and followed the instructions. Bigger cuttings, smaller cuttings they end up the same. They stay in soil, a new leaf might come out but they still die. It is indoors, not in direct sun, in an unheated propagator. At the moment I only have those who stayed in water, everything else has died.
    – user16928
    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:20
  • hummmm. I just heard something that might be a big problem. Putting cuttings in water to root is great if those plants stay in water. Those roots don't work when transplanted into soil. Please answer all my questions and send a picture. What is the temperature in the unheated propagator? Are they getting any light? What soil are you using. Those starts should go right into the soil after dipping in root hormone, careful to read directions and don't use too much! Also they should be in a little 'greenhouse' saranwrap works well. Warmth, light, slightly moist, no fertilizer?
    – stormy
    Mar 20, 2017 at 16:37
  • 1
    Yeah there are several websites that say not to use the rooting hormone, gardeningknowhow.com , scentedgeraniums.co.uk, (which are supposed to be specialists as they sell crazy amount of varieties) and a couple more. Thanks, I'll try again :)
    – user16928
    Mar 21, 2017 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


If you examine the stems of the scented geraniums you will probably find they are covered in fine hairs. There is a tendency to overwater geranium cuttings of all kinds, and the hairs just make the problem worse. A useful technique when dealing with geraniums of all kinds is to take the cuttings, then put them flat on a table and cover with newspaper and leave them for 12 hours or so. In this time they will dry down and produce a callus at the cut end. Joy for you if you see a nice thick callus form. The hairiness of the leaves will stop them from drying out too much. They may look floppy but they will perk up when in soil. Then pot up into a potting mix and keep the cuttings on the dry side - force them to go looking for moisture, but not bone dry.

  • Thank you Colin. I have dried the cutting before, according to one of the instructions, but about 2 hours, not 12. I will follow your advice this time. Thanks again :)
    – user16928
    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:26
  • Colin's answer sounds sound. I've never done this but it makes sense, for this plant. Please let us know how your trials work out! There is something simple we haven't been told as yet and we're dying to help, grins! More information @user16928, please!
    – stormy
    Mar 20, 2017 at 16:40
  • Agreed, this is how I was taught to propagate geraniums. Are you adding fertilizer to the the water? Too much will kill seedlings. I usually mix a half dose of liquid rooting hormone in with the water for all my cuttings. Mar 24, 2017 at 2:12

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