Whether planted in pots, planters and hanging baskets, or directly in flower beds, it’s easy to keep geraniums blooming big and bright all summer long with a few simple care and maintenance tips.
Geraniums have long been a favorite of gardeners looking for bright, long-lasting summertime blooms. So long in fact, that they were even a favorite of Thomas Jefferson!
Although grown as an annual in most climates, geraniums are actually a perennial plant in the warmer zones of 10 and 11.
However, when grown in pots, they can be over-wintered indoors in any climate to be kept for multiple seasons.
Depending on the variety chosen, plants can range from just a few inches high, all the way up to a few feet or more.
And although most think of geraniums blooming only in the popular colors of red and white, they can also be found in pink, purple, orange and salmon flowering hues as well.
But no matter what color or variety you choose, with a few simple tips, it is easy to keep geraniums blooming in full glory.
From early spring – right up until the first hard frost!
How To Keep Geraniums Blooming – Geranium Care 101
Pinching Back Growth For Stronger, Bushier Plants
Geraniums tend to become quite leggy and sparse if left to grow on their own accord. Especially when grown in pots, containers or hanging baskets. (See : How To Give New Life To Hanging Baskets)
As they grow early in the season, pinch back all of the growth on stems about 1/2″
This can be done easily with a pair of scissors, garden pruners, or even with sharp fingernails. This encourages the plant to grow multiple shoots from the pruned stems.
Also pinch back any wild shoots to the size of the other stems.
It results in a much bushier and healthier plant. And, a plant that can produce many more blooms and flowers.
Deadheading Spent Blooms – Keep Those Geraniums Blooming!
Once those flowers appear, it is extremely important to keep the old blooms in check.
Regular deadheading, or taking off spent blooms, is one of the most important keys to keep geraniums blooming.
As blooms begin to fade and die off, cut or pinch off the flower and the stalk it formed on. All the way back to where it first
In addition, remove any fading foliage from the plant as well.
These two tasks keep the plant’s energy focused on growing new shoots and blossoms.
Fertilizing & Watering
Geraniums do not require heavy nutrients to grow well and bloom, but a small dose of all-purpose 10-10-10 organic fertilizer once a month in-season can keep blooms coming on. (See : Jobe’s Organic Plant Food)
When planting in flowerbeds, be sure to mix in generous amounts of compost to keep soil light and well-drained.
It is better to water geraniums less-frequently but with more water, than small doses of daily water. This forces roots deeper and develops a stronger plant.
Controlling Pests And Disease
One of the best features of growing geraniums is that they are rarely attacked by insects or pests.
In fact, many gardeners believe that growing geraniums are a great way to repel pests.
Geraniums are well known to help repel the dreaded cabbage worm when planted in vegetable gardens.
Just one more reason to grow this beautiful summer plant!
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