How to Care for Geraniums
Known for their bright blooms and fragrant foliage, geraniums are a popular, beloved summer flower. Not only beautiful, geraniums are easy to maintain and can thrive all year, making them favorites for garden beds as well as hanging pots. Several varieties of geranium exist, named for the unique scents they emit, including almond, apple, lemon, lime, nutmeg, and peppermint. Give Flower Works a call to see which varieties are available for you to bring home today and follow the tips below to ensure your geraniums stay happy and healthy all year.
Proper Sunlight, Soil, and Watering
- Geraniums prefer bright sunlight and should be planted in a spot where they will receive at least six hours of sun each day. If summer temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees, your geraniums must be given afternoon shade.
- Use a mixture of organic compost and high-quality, well-draining potting soil containing peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite.
- Fertilizer is important. During active growing months, use a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks, or add slow-release fertilizer when planting to feed the flowers all season.
- If planted in a garden, space the plants eight to twelve inches apart, and at the same depth as when in their original planting pots. Mulch regularly to retain moisture.
- Geraniums require moderate to regular watering, preferably in the morning to reduce the risk of disease.
- If planted in containers, use pots with adequate drainage holes to keep the plant moist while avoiding root rot. Water until excess comes from the drainage holes, then allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before watering again.
Deadhead to Encourage Blooms
- Every few weeks, or when your geraniums begin to look weakened or brown, it is time to deadhead them.
- Use your hands or a pair of shears to remove the flowers that look weak or less full, snapping the stem below its node, where new growth will begin. Do this to the entire plant, working in sections.
- Deadheading encourages new blooms and can extend the life of your plant for weeks or even months.
- If you neglect this step, the blooms will become sparse and stop creating flowers.
Prune to Maintain Shape
- After the blooming season is over (when the weather drops to below 45 degrees), pruning your geranium will allow it to go dormant for the winter and store energy to be used for the next spring.
- Using shears, trim them back at the nodes or new growth points to two or three inches from the soil.
- Remove remaining leaves or flowers. It won’t look attractive now, but this will allow for a fuller bloom in the spring.
Overwinter to Keep Them Beautiful Year Round
- If they’ve spent a productive summer outdoors, geraniums can be brought inside for the winter to be enjoyed as houseplants.
- After pruning them as described above, bring the pot inside and place in the shade for a week. Then move them to a south-facing window where they can receive at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.
- It is important to keep them dry and cool while inside. They fare best with night temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not fertilize during the winter, and water only in small amounts weekly or when the leaves begin to droop.
Stunning, unique, and aromatic, geraniums are a popular choice for summer gardening that can easily transition to a lovely winter houseplant. Providing geraniums with proper sunlight, soil, and watering, as well as employing techniques such as deadheading, pruning, and overwintering, will ensure your plant stays healthy and beautiful all year long.
If you’re ready to add geraniums to your summer garden, contact Flower Works today! Our knowledgeable, experienced florists in Marquette, MI would love to help you choose the right geraniums to enhance your home.