Hardy geraniums grow as perennial flowers; they are true geraniums, unlike the more common Pelargoniums that are sometimes thought of as geraniums. These hardy flowers survive frost and return in spring with new growth. They flower most profusely in June, July and August, but some flowers persist after the peak bloom and into fall on properly cared for plants. Geraniums require only minimal care to produce the most flowers, but even basic care practices can help improve the bloom amount and quality on the plants.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Plant the geraniums in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Work compost into the bed prior to planting to aid drainage. Geraniums tolerate both shade and sun, but flower best when they receive at least full morning sunlight.
- Water the geraniums once weekly during the growing season. Geraniums tolerate some drought but soil that remains evenly moist to a 6-inch depth ensures full blooming and minimizes wilting.
- Fertilize the geraniums once monthly from when new growth begins in spring until after the plants finish blooming in late summer. Apply a soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering perennials at the rate recommended on the fertilizer label.
- Cut back overgrown geraniums after the first flush of flowering completes. Trim the plants back to within 1 to 3 inches of the ground with sharp shears then water and fertilize the plants. Geraniums put on a flush of new growth after a mid-season trim, which typically results in a new wave of blooms.
- Inspect the geraniums for symptoms of leaf spot disease. Symptoms include sunken spots or lesions on the underside of the leaves and wilted, curled leaf margins. Leaf spot weakens the geranium and may inhibit flower bud production.
- Cut back the plants to a 6-inch height if leaf spot systems are present. Continue to water and fertilize to encourage the plant to grow back and produce new flower buds.
Tips & Warnings
Overcrowding may inhibit flowering. Space the plants at the distance recommended on the plant label for the specific geranium variety to ensure the plants have the necessary room to grow.