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This is probably a dup but SO isn't pointing me to a suitable one right now.

I own an overgrown pelargonium. It being huge is not a problem; it being smaller wouldn't be either.

When I was transporting it some time ago a bunch of branches broke off. I placed them in water and reasonable light. In several weeks about 20% of them rooted. The rest never rooted until starting to disintegrate after two and a half months. After being planted 100% of the rooted ones survived.

Now I need to create several new plants from it.

How do I do create new plants with efficiency higher than 20%?

Note: it's rather cold (5-20°C) and dim(cloud cover 97%) around here now but I need to do this quickly.

Quoted timespans are from rusty memory, not factual.

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Unfortunately, the optimum time to take cuttings from pelargoniums is August/September, that's when you're more likely to have a very high success rate. However, if you have no choice but to do it now, then follow the method outlined here https://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/propagation_pelargoniums1.shtml. If you are able to keep them warm enough, you may succeed with some of the cuttings. Note it says to use horticultural grit and seed/cutting potting 'compost' - in the UK, that just means potting soil, not actual compost. Certainly you need a potting soil that does not contain a lot of fertiliser, but if you cannot get the grit, you can substitute with a little perlite (not vermiculite) if necessary, or just try straight into the potting soil, as long as it is free draining. Don't let the potting soil completely dry out, keep it damp, but be sure not to over water or to leave water sitting in any outer container. You will obviously need to keep the cuttings indoors and in a spot with good daylight - a little sun at this time of year shouldn't be a problem, but don't sit them in a very sunny spot. If any leaves fall onto the soil while they are rooting, remove those immediately so as not to encourage fungal growth.

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  • Thanks, this answers all my questions. I'll try several cuttings in soil and several in water to compare the results.
    – Vorac
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 7:55
  • Bamboo, would you mind including at least the basic instructions right in the answer (properly attributed and marked if copied)? We all have clicked on broken links and that’s why SE doesn’t encourage “follow this link” answers.
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 21:33
  • Some conclusions. Rooting in water instead of soil has the advantage of being easier also saving space by cramming many branches in the same water container. And secondly - I disagree with the "cut below the knee", perhaps I've misunderstood it. Cut no lower than the bottom of the knee!
    – Vorac
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 4:40

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