The plant is usually found in mild winter and lives up to two years. The fragrance of citronella plant is more pronounced when its leaves are compressed or rubbed.
So, how do you root a citronella plant? In today’s post, we’ll provide you with all the necessary information you need to successfully root a citronella plant.
Let’s get started!
Things You Will Need to Root A Citronella Plant
- Sterile knife
- Clear glass
- Plastic jar
How To Root A Citronella Plant
Rooting a citronella plant is one of the ways to make more plants. If you want to grow more citronella plants in your home, this section will guide you on the steps to take.
Step 1: Cut the bottom of the stem of an existing citronella plant. The severed stem should be at least 4 to 6 inches. Note that the cut must be done smoothly, and it’s best if you have at least three sets of leaves on the cutting.
Step 2: The severed stem should be left uncovered for at least 24 hours. If you want to use a rooting hormone to aid the chances of the cutting taking root, dip the severed stem in rooting hormone.
Step 3: The potting cup or jar should be filled with damp peat moss. Note that citronella plants do not like too much water; thus, the peat moss should be damp and not wet.
Step 4: Make sure that the potting cup has drainage holes in the bottom to eliminate excess water. Excess water in the pot will be quite detrimental to the plant and may lead to the severed stem rotting.
Step 5: In a few weeks, a root system will start to develop. Note that while rooting, the pot should be kept in a well-protected area with good indirect light as direct sunlight will be detrimental to the cutting.
Step 6: In a couple of weeks after a root system is fully developed; then it’s time to transfer the cutting to high-quality potting soil. The rooted plant should be dipped into the soil.
Step 7: Water the rooted plant immediately. It is dipped into the center of the potting soil. Watering the rooted plant will help settle the planting mix and push trapped oxygen bubbles to the surface.
Step 8: Wait until a few new sets of leaves have developed before placing the new plant in direct sunlight. In hotter climates, the plant shouldn’t be placed under direct sunlight.
What To Have In Mind When Rooting Citronella Plant
The citronella plant thrives best on warm soil; thus, it is recommended that the cutting and rooting process occur by spring.
The cut must be done smoothly and cleanly. Use sharp and clean scissors to cut out a branch from an adult plant. To avoid staunched growth, don’t mash the stem while cutting.
While it is not mandatory to use rooting agents or rooting hormones on the new cut, it is recommended as it aids in the rooting process.
If you plan on planting plenty of citronella geranium, a distance of 21 to 25 inches is recommended.
Remember, the citronella plant doesn’t like harsh sunlight; the new cut plant should be placed in a partial shade.
The potting mix must contain good quality soil like compost and organic matter to aid the plant’s healthy growth.
Use only moist soil when planting; also ensure that the temperature is between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Citronella geranium requires loamy soil to grow well.
In cold weather, you can plant them in containers and move them indoors when the temperature falls.
Can You Root Citronella From A Cutting?
Yes, citronella can be rooted from a cutting. There are various ways in which the citronella plant can be grown.
You can opt for planting the citronella seeds or juvenile plants. Note that this is a long process, and the citronella plant will take a longer period to grow.
The most well-known way to grow a citronella plant is from cutting, then rooting it first in peat moss before transferring it to potting soil.
Most people usually buy pre-potted cutting. If you opt for this, it will save you from taking care of the newly cut plant.
Or you can decide to go all the way by cutting a healthy branch off of an adult citronella plant. Follow the steps outlined if you want to root the citronella plant by yourself.
Can You Root Citronella in Water?
No, it’s not advisable to root citronella plant in water because it does not thrive on too much water. The best way to root a citronella plant is by cutting a healthy branch off an adult citronella plant, leaving it uncovered for 24 hours before dipping in peat moss.
Some gardeners recommend dipping the fresh-cut into a rooting hormone to aid or improve the chances of the cutting taking root.
Best Season to Plant Citronella Plants When Growing Them from Cutting
With adequate care, you can plant your citronella plant during any season. However, it is recommended that they are planted in late spring when the soil is warm.
The citronella plant roughly takes 6 months to root and grow. So, it is best to cut and root them at least 6 weeks before the summer season so the plants can take advantage of the summer sun.
In summary, it is best to plant your citronella plant within the first and last week of June.
Where to Plant Citronella Plants
Citronella Plants thrive under the summer sun but not harsh sunlight. Place your citronella plant in a sunny spot with indirect sunlight and adequate heat to help them grow.
If the citronella plants are placed under direct sunlight, they will wither under the scorching heat.
Conclusion | How Do You Root A Citronella Plant?
How do you root a citronella plant? Hopefully, this question has been answered. The citronella plant is a perfect addition to your garden or home. The plant is quite useful in repelling mosquitoes and other insects, which earned it the name mosquito plant.
Certain studies also suggest that the plant has antifungal properties and can be used to heal wounds. The oil from the plant is also used to make massage oil, lotions, and creams.