Steps to Grow Citronella Plants from Cuttings

How To Grow Citronella Plants From Cuttings

The Citronella plant is known for its mosquito repellent properties. You can grow this plant indoors using small potted citronella or its cuttings. Here are some guidelines and helpful tips for growing citronella plants from cuttings.

Step 1 – Procure Cuttings

To grow a citronella plant in a container, you will need cuttings from a parent plant. Before cutting, you need to sterilize the scissors or pruners you will use. The equipment should be sharp. The blunt-cutting instrument will cause damage to the parent plant, and you will not be able to achieve a clean cut.

When getting a cutting from the parent citronella plant, remember a few things. The cutting should have a minimum of two nodes. Nodes refer to bumps on the branches and stem from where the new leaves and shoots emerge.

This is essential as one node needs to go underground while planting the cutting, and you need to have another one above the ground from where the shoots and leaves will emerge.

Step 2 – Remove Leaves

Too many leaves on the cutting can hamper the growth of the citronella plant. If the cutting has too many leaves or greenery, it will drain moisture faster, and the cutting will dry before the roots form.

According to experts, you can leave one or two small leaves in the cutting before planting them in the container. If the cutting has big leaves, you can trim them to three-fourth of their original size.

Step 3 – Apply a Rooting Agent

Rooting agents or rooting hormones are chemicals that stimulate root growth. Application of a rooting agent is an essential step in growing citronella plants from cuttings. You can buy rooting agents from the market or make one at home. They may be available in powder form.

Next, you need to moisten the plant cutting and dip the cut end in the rooting agent powder. Remove the excess rooting agent from the cut end. Here, you can also mix rooting agents in soil and water while planting the cutting in the container.

If you are familiar with using a rooting agent, you can plant the cutting in moist soil, water it regularly, and wait for the roots to grow. Experts say that a rooting agent speeds the process of growing roots in a cutting.

Step 4 – Sunlight

Just because the Citronella plant can grow well indoors does not mean you keep it in any dark corner of the house. Like any plant, citronella plants also need sunlight to grow well.

The citronella cutting needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight in a day for faster growth. You can keep the citronella plant indoors during the cold season but leave them outside during the warm season.

Step 5 – Watering the Plant

There are several benefits of growing Citronella. It is considered a drought-tolerant plant. It means the plant needs significantly less water to survive and grow. It would be helpful if you considered this factor when watering your potted citronella plant. The cutting or a mature plant does not need much water at different growth stages.

However, it would help if you watered it regularly. The top layer of the soil needs to be wet for the citronella plant to grow well. The inner layers of the soil also need to be moist for better growth.

Step 6 – Pruning

Pruning refers to cutting branches or parts of a tree/plant to give it a better shape. These plants are known to grow up to six feet tall and six feet wide. You would not want bulky citronella in your home. Hence, you need to prune it regularly to keep the plant short and bushier.

Helpful Tips to Grow Citronella Plants from Cuttings

  • It would help if you procured a citronella cutting in the spring. Wait for the soil to get warm enough that will help the citronella cutting to grow well.
  • Don’t mash the cutting while getting a clean cut of the citronella plant. If you accidentally mash the stem while cutting, it will staunch new growth, and the cutting may not grow well.
  • If you prefer to plant more than one cutting of citronella in the container, make sure there is enough distance between both cuttings. Experts recommend a minimum distance of 21 to 25 inches between citronella cuttings.
  • ●       Though sunlight is essential for the citronella plant, it cannot stand harsh sunlight. You need to keep the plant indoors when there is harsh sunlight. Avoid keeping the citronella plant in direct sunlight. They grow better in a shaded area with six to eight hours of sunlight during the day.

To sum up, these are some helpful tips to grow citronella plants from a cutting. Following the tips will ensure the cutting is grown into a healthy citronella plant in a few months.

If you’re a gardener who loves the scent of citronella and its use as a natural mosquito repellent, you might want to consider growing citronella plants from cuttings. Citronella, a type of scented geranium also known as the “mosquito plant,” is a perennial that can be grown indoors or outdoors in plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. With some basic knowledge on how to grow and care for citronella plants, you can easily propagate them and add them as a fragrant addition to your garden or keep them potted indoors during the winter months. We’ll show you how to propagate citronella geraniums and care for citronella plants using simple steps such as rooting hormone and potting mix.

What You’ll Need To Propagate Citronella Plants

For citronella propagation, you’ll need a healthy parent plant from which to take cuttings. Additionally, you’ll need a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears, rooting hormone, a pot or container, potting mix, and plant food. If you’re planning on planting your citronella plants outdoors, make sure to check that you’re in plant hardiness zones 10 or above. If you’re propagating indoors, make sure to place the cutting in rooting hormone before sticking it into a potting mix and placing it in a sunny window or window box. Citronella plants tend to get leggy, so removing all but the top leaves from the stem before propagation can help the plant grow happily. Additionally, fertilizing citronella regularly with a balanced plant food can help it thrive.

Step-By-Step Guide For Propagating Citronella Plants

If you want to propagate citronella plants, it’s important to start with a healthy parent plant. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to propagate citronella plants:

  1. Take a cutting from a mature citronella plant, making sure to cut just below a node.
  2. Remove all but the top leaves from the stem to help the plant grow happily.
  3. Dip the bottom of the cutting in the rooting hormone.
  4. Stick the cutting into the potting mix, making sure that the bottom of the cutting is covered.
  5. Place the pot in a sunny window or under grow lights if planting indoors.
  6. Water the plant and make sure to keep the soil moist.
  7. Fertilize the plant regularly with a balanced plant food to keep it healthy.
  8. After the plant has established roots, transplant it into a larger pot or garden soil if planting outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 or above.

By following these steps, you can easily cultivate and propagate your own citronella plants to use for their benefits, such as using citronella oil for mosquito repellent or simply enjoying their scent in your home or garden.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Growing Citronella Plants From Cuttings

When propagating citronella plants from cuttings, there are a few common mistakes to avoid. First, avoid taking cuttings from unhealthy plants, as they are less likely to root successfully. It’s also important to take cuttings from the right part of the plant, ideally from a node with healthy leaves. Additionally, be careful not to damage the cutting while preparing it for propagation, as this can reduce its chances of rooting. Finally, make sure to provide the cutting with the right conditions for rooting, including appropriate soil, water, and lighting. By avoiding these mistakes and following the proper propagation techniques, you can increase your chances of successfully growing healthy citronella plants.

Tips For Successfully Growing And Citronella Plant Care

Citronella plants are relatively easy to grow and maintain, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind for successful growth and citronella plant care. Firstly, make sure to plant citronella in well-draining soil and in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. If you live in a colder climate, bring your plant indoors for the winter. To keep your citronella plant healthy, avoid over watering and fertilizing. Prune regularly to promote bushy growth and remove any dead or damaged foliage. Finally, if you’re using citronella for its insect-repellent properties, keep in mind that the oil derived from citronella plants may not be as effective as citronella candles or other commercial products.


In conclusion, growing citronella plants from cuttings is an easy and cost-effective way to cultivate healthy and fragrant plants. By following the steps outlined above, you can propagate your own citronella plants and enjoy the benefits of this versatile and useful herb. Whether you plant your citronella outdoors in well-drained soil or keep it in a pot indoors, it’s important to provide it with the right environment to thrive. With the right care, your citronella plant can produce fragrant leaves and even repel mosquitoes with its citronella oil. So why not get started today and add this useful plant to your garden or indoor collection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’ve still got questions about how to grow citronella plants from cuttings, then these may help:

How Do You Propagate Citronella Grass?

To propagate citronella grass, you can take a cutting of a healthy plant and remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem, leaving a node exposed. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone and place it into a pot filled with well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and place the pot in a warm, bright location. After a few weeks, the cutting should begin to root and new growth will appear. Once the plant is established, it can be transplanted into the garden or kept as a potted plant. Citronella grass is easy to propagate and can be a great addition to any garden.

Can You Root Citronella Cuttings In Water?

Yes, you can root citronella cuttings in water. To do so, simply take a cutting from a healthy citronella plant and remove the lower leaves. Place the cutting in a jar filled with water, making sure the stem is fully submerged but the leaves are not. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and oxygenated. Once the roots have grown to about an inch long, you can plant the cutting in soil. Keep the newly planted cutting in a warm, humid location and keep the soil moist until it establishes itself.

How Do You Overwinter Citronella?

Citronella is an annual plant that cannot withstand frost and requires overwintering in colder regions. To overwinter citronella, bring your plant inside and place it in a sunny location with good air circulation. Water the plant thoroughly and avoid placing it in drafty locations or near heat sources. Prune the plant back to encourage bushy growth and reduce water requirements. To maintain a healthy plant, avoid overwatering, fertilizing, or letting the plant dry out completely. With proper care, you can enjoy your citronella plant indoors throughout the winter months and move it outdoors when the weather warms up in the spring.

Do Citronella Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Citronella is a plant that is well known for its reputation as a natural mosquito repellent. While some people may have success using citronella oil, citronella plants themselves are not always as effective. Citronella plants do contain the chemical compound that repels mosquitoes, but it is not as concentrated as the essential oil. Additionally, the effectiveness of the plant depends on a variety of factors, including the environment, the size of the area, and the number of plants. Nonetheless, citronella plants are a beautiful addition to any garden and can be easily grown in pots or in the ground. When planted and cared for correctly, they can provide a pleasant scent and some degree of mosquito repellent.

Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?

Geraniums, also known as Pelargonium, do need plenty of sun to thrive, but they don’t require full sun all day long. In fact, too much direct sunlight can damage the plant, causing the leaves to wilt or burn. Geraniums typically need around 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, so it’s best to place them in a spot with morning or afternoon sun, rather than all-day sun exposure. They also prefer well-draining soil and regular watering, but it’s important not to overwater them as this can lead to root rot. With proper care and placement, Geraniums can be a beautiful addition to any garden or home.

How Do You Prune Citronella Plants?

Pruning citronella plants is essential to promote healthy growth and shape. It is recommended to prune them in the spring, once the frost has passed. To prune, remove any dead or damaged foliage and stems, as well as any overgrowth that detracts from the desired shape. Additionally, pinch off the tips of the stems to encourage branching and a fuller plant. Regular pruning of citronella plants can also help to encourage more oil production and stronger mosquito-repelling properties. Make sure to use clean, sharp pruning shears, and avoid pruning more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. With proper pruning, citronella plants can thrive and provide a natural mosquito repellent.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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