Gardeners have a variety of choices in geranium species and cultivars. Pelargonium x hortorum geraniums act as annuals. Geranium x sp. are hardy geraniums and act as perennials. Both varieties will brighten up summer gardens throughout the United States. Flowers range in shape from singles, doubles and semi-double. Colors are just as varied. Depending on the cultivar, blossom colors include reds, purples, white and pinks, bicolor and salmon. Geraniums work well in hanging baskets, containers, mass plantings, mixed gardens or borders. Geraniums are hardy additions to the garden when provided with their preferred planting and growing conditions.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Potting mix
- Pruning shears
- Plant containerized geraniums in a container two to three times larger than the plant’s root ball. Use a container with drainage. Fill the container with a well-drained, rich potting mix.
- Clear all weeds from a planting site located in partial sun or shade. Geraniums tolerate more sunlight in cooler areas of the United States. Remove the weed growth by raking, pulling or killing it with an herbicidal product.
- Plant the geraniums in well-drained, fertile soil. Amend the soil with organic materials. Work 3 to 4 inches of compost or manure into the soil to a depth of approximately 6 inches.
- Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the geranium’s container and as deep as the container. Planting the geranium too deep stresses the plant and stem rot can occur, according to the University of Florida.
- Remove the geranium from the container. Place the geranium into the hole. Cover the hole with soil and firm it up around the plant using your hands.
- Space multiple geraniums 12 inches to 2 feet apart. Consider the mature spread of the cultivar you are growing and space accordingly. Space multiple geraniums closer, when used as ground cover bedding plants.
- Water geraniums planted outdoors and in containers immediately after planting. Keep the planting site moist but not wet. Water containerized geraniums when the first 2 inches of potting medium feels dry.
- Fertilize outdoor and potted geraniums every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer. Use a 10-10-10 blend and apply according to label instructions.
- Trim perennial, outdoor geraniums back in early fall. Apply fertilizer after pruning. This promotes new growth, making plants look better.
Tips & Warnings
If the geranium’s foliage begins yellowing, it requires fertilizing.
Geraniums perform better with regular applications of fertilizer.
Adding a slow-release fertilizer at the time of planting is also an option. Apply the fertilizer to the container’s soil or garden soil according to package instructions.
In freeze-prone areas of the United States, remove outdoor geraniums in fall. Trim the plants back and place into a container. Situate back into the garden when warm weather returns.