If perennials with bright blooms attract you, then the easy-to-grow geranium may be right up your alley. Geraniums flower in early to mid spring and continue blooming in some areas until late October or early November. Plants range from 6 inches to 4 feet tall when full grown, depending on the variety. After planting geraniums, minimal maintenance helps them thrive for several years.
U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 offer the necessary conditions for geranium growth. Geraniums grow best in a location that receives partial to full sunlight. In areas with high humidity, partial shade prevents the blooms from fading. Choose a location where the soil does not hold water, but maintains moisture for the best results.
Plant geraniums in the spring after the last frost. Soak the roots of the geranium for two hours before planting. Loosen the soil about 12 to 15 inches with a tiller or garden fork. Add a layer of compost to the soil and work it in. Plant the geranium in a hole two times the diameter of the pot. For instance, if the pot measures 6 inches, dig a circular hole 12 inches wide. Backfill the hole with the dirt and press it down firmly. Space the plants between 6 and 24 inches apart.
Trim dead blooms from the geranium as they occur. When rainfall is less than 1 inch per week during the summer, the National Gardening Association website recommends watering the geraniums. Place additional compost around the geraniums each spring and cover it with 2 inches of mulch. This helps the soil maintain moisture and prevents weed growth.
A single application of fertilizer maintains geraniums for an entire growing season. Geraniums grow faster and larger by adding a 5-5-5 liquid fertilizer in early spring. A granular fertilizer — that releases slowly — offers an alternative to liquid. Additionally, a top dressing of bone meal over the plants provides nutrients organically.