Many plants are easily propagated by cuttings. And the process is far from complex. The most important step is, of course, to do it… and not be daunted by rules or regulations.
I own rooting hormone (#1 for softwood cuttings) which would have been an essential tool in the right way to take these geranium cuttings — for Pelargonium ‘Happy Thought’. It’s good to have Happy Thoughts in the garden, and the more the merrier! The rest of the right way to take cuttings involves a sterile potting medium, moist but well-drained, with a dip of the cut stem into the powdered hormone. Ideally, the procedure should be done earlier in the season; August is good.
However. As I lacked sterile potting soil, and I didn’t get around to taking any cuttings in August, what I did – in October – was follow Monty Python’s Mr. Gumby method of taking cuttings: first you take the flowers, and arrange ’em in a vaaaaaase.
The slightly expanded version of that method might say: Cut fat, green stems (about 3-4″ long) just below a leaf node. Remove any flower buds, and all but the top 2-3 leaves. Pop them in water in an opaque container. Put the container in bright, indirect light. Wait (topping up the water as needed). After a couple of weeks, you might have this…
Only one geranium cutting had rooted when these photos were taken last week, but now they almost all are. And, now, I have potting soil.
As you can see, the coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) cuttings were even more enthusiastic about rooting in water. I’ll be potting these up soon… when I can rediscover the pots I’d put aside for them.
My point is this: there are definitely right ways (or better ways) to do things in the garden, but sometimes plain old, unscientific ways work just fine. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. This method gave me 100% more cuttings that I’d had before.