The Cottage Gardener 6: 308-309 (Aug. 14, 1851)
Propagating Geraniums
T. Appleby

Propagation: By Buds.— By this term we do not mean budding, but putting in single buds or eyes as cuttings. This is a new practice, and is thus performed: First, make a shallow pan ready for them, by first putting in a portion of pure loam and sand, then a covering of pure sand alone, give a gentle watering to settle it, and then prepare the buds. Take a shoot of moderate strength, cut off the leaves, but not quite close to the stem, then cut off the two lowest buds, leaving about a quarter-of an-inch of wood below each bud. After that, split the shoot containing the two buds down the centre. If the two buds are not exactly opposite, but one a little below the other, the upper one must be shortened below the bud to the proper length. The upper cut should be very nearly close to the bud. Make a sufficient number ready at once to fill the pan or pot. When that is done proceed to plant them, using a short blunt stick a degree thicker than the bud-cutting. Insert them deep enough, so as only to leave the bud just above the sand. Plant them close to, and round the edge of the pan, placing the cut side close against the pot, which will of course place the bud side inwards. Then fill up the holes with a little dry sand, and water gently again. Place them either in a propagating-house, a shady part of a stove near the glass roof, or in a frame placed under the circumstance described at the page referred to above. Shade from bright sunshine in whatever situation they are placed, and water as required. The buds will soon break and show leaves shortly to be followed by a shoot. This will soon require roots to support it, and will send down sap, which will cause, first, a callosity or swelling, and then roots. Now, this method has the advantage over a cutting with leaves, of having a less surface for evaporation, and for damp to take hold of, consequently the bud is not so liable to perish from the juices drying up, or from the moisture acting upon the non-growing leaf, and so causing it to decay before roots are produced. At the same time, we candidly confess that this way of increasing Pelargoniums is new, and its success, as our northern neighbours would say, not proven: but reasoning from analogy in the well-known successful practice of raising vines from eyes or buds; we judge there is little fear that it will be completely successful, we invite our readers to give it a fair trial, and communicate the result. The buds that have been put in, have, at Pine-Apple Place, so far, progressed satisfactorily, not one having, as yet, perished.

By Roots.—Some kinds of Fancy Pelargoniums, and most of the Cape original species, ore difficult to increase by any of the above methods. In such extreme eases there is left the mode of increase by cuttings of the roots. This is almost certain of success. Take an old plant, shake off carefully all the soil, and cut the roots into short pieces, retaining as many fibres as possible to each. Put each root-cutting singly into as small pots as they can be got into, leaving the top just visible. Place them in the house, or frame, appropriated to propagation; give a gentle watering, and shade effectually. New roots will soon push forth, and then shoots will appear, generally in clusters. When that takes place, reduce the shade, to give colour to the leaves and strength to the shoots. As these advance in growth, thin them gradually, by slipping one or two off at a time, till finally they are reduced to one which is to form the future plant. As soon as this shoot attains the height of two or three inches, nip off the top to cause side shoots to grow, and so form a neat bushy plant. This method we have proved, in difficult cases, to be a successful one, and, therefore, can confidently recommend its adoption with such plants as do not readily increase by the more ordinary methods.