Geranium, how to care for it

Caring for geranium

Geranium is an enchantment in the garden and on the deck all summer long.

Main Geranium facts

NameGeranium or Pelargonium
Type – perennial

Height – 8″ (20 cm) to 3′ (1 meter)

Exposure: full sun  –  Soil: ordinary, add soil mix  –  Flowering: spring → mid-fall

Planting and repotting, care and pruning will help you increase the blooming considerably.

Planting geranium

Geranium is one of the best plants for garden boxes and potted arrangements.

In garden boxes and pots

You may plant geranium as early as March and April in areas having mild climates, but you’ll have to bring it indoors if it freezes.

If you don’t want to take any risk, wait for the frost spells to weaken before bringing it out, towards the month of May.

When planting in garden boxes, use soil mix, preferably a type designed for geraniums specifically. It tends to drain very well, but also retains moisture thanks to additives like hydrogels, perlite or expanded clay.

Directly in the ground in your garden

Wait for the end of April or even mid-May in regions further North before setting it in place. While you’re putting it in the ground, add geranium-specific growing medium to your soil.

  • Space plants 32 inches (30 cm) apart.

Propagating geranium

This plant is very easy to propagate through cuttings or through sowing under shelter.

Geranium cuttingWork on the cuttings will start at the end of summer by snipping off stem cuttings from the mother plant, or in spring as the vegetation phase takes off.

Start in February for the varieties that are propagated through sowing.

Pruning and caring for geranium

  • Red geranium in a gardenIt doesn’t need any pruning.
  • Remove wilted flowers regularly because the needlessly drain resources from the geranium.
  • Yellowing leaves are very common on geraniums, simply remove them as they appear.
    Take care though, this may be connected to excess water. If many leaves turn yellow, wait for the soil to dry up before watering again with organic fertilizer.
  • If leaves turn brown and crispy dry, water more often with the same amount of water.

How to grow beautiful geranium

Geranium fertilizer is particularly recommended for this plant if you wish to increase the blooming.

Also remember to water regularly, especially if it is set in full sun, because geranium requires a lot of water.

Winterizing: keep geranium safe in winter

Winterizing geraniumMost everybody is aware that a geranium can’t resist freezing and must transfer indoors at the first sign of freezing.

Leaving it outdoors in its pot, garden box or in the ground over winter will certainly not lead it to grow back in the following spring, unless it never freezes in your area.

You must thus absolutely keep it in a cool and ventilated space that is guarded against freezing.
This guarantees that your geranium is properly winterized.

You’re in either of 2 cases:

1 – For potted geraniums in garden boxes or pots

  • Potted geranium indoors for winterBring the garden boxes in a cool, dry and well-lit space before the first frost spells.
  • The ideal preservation temperature ranges from 40°F to 50°F (10°C to 15°C).
  • Cut the stems back by about ⅔.
  • Reduce watering and even stop watering altogether during the coldest winter months.
  • Resume watering a bit at a time starting in February-March. Bring the garden boxes back outdoors in spring.
  • This is the perfect time to repot the geranium in fresh, new soil mix just before bringing them back out.

2 – For geraniums planted in the ground

  • Pull the geraniums out before the first frosts hit.
  • Snip off the tips of the roots and prune the branches to ⅔rds their length.
  • Store them in a cool and well-lit place until spring comes.
  • In spring, plant them back in the ground in a blend of soil mix and earth.

Learn more about geranium

Geranium, which we should actually call pelargonium, is famous since it flowers in many of our gardens. It often appears in garden boxes on windowsills, balconies and terraces.

Very common and very ornamental in our countries, this flower with 5 petals will beckon from the beginning of spring until the first frost spells.

geranium varietiesThere are over 200 species and varieties of geraniums; caring for them is always the same and each will give you the same level of enjoyment.

Special tip about geranium

To increase blooming, provide special geranium organic liquid fertilizer at the beginning of spring and renew this application at the beginning of summer.

Images: adobestock: Gulsina, CC BY 2.0: Keith Williamson, CC BY-SA 2.0: Jocelyn Kinghorn, Olly; Pixabay: İsmet Şahin