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How to Garden With Geraniums


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Geraniums produce a cluster of blooms atop a slender stem held 4 to 6 inches above their scalloped foliage. These tender perennials thrive in warm weather, but do not tolerate cold weather. Typically grown as annuals across much of the U.S., geraniums can be overwintered in the home and returned outside once the danger of frost has passed in the spring. Prized for nonstop blooming, red geraniums are most popular, but they come in several shades of pink, a rich salmon and white. Variegated varieties include both variegated blooms and foliage, making geraniums versatile in the home garden.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Geranium seedlings
  • Peat moss
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Lime
  • Large bucket or bin
  • Plant containers
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
    1. Use a container for your geraniums that is at least 6 inches deep and 8 inches in diameter. Geranium can be grown in the ground, but many gardeners prefer pots as it makes moving them inside for winter easier and does not require digging or transplanting.
    2. Mix 2 qt. each of moist peat moss, all-purpose potting and perlite in a large bucket or bin. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer and 1 tsp. of lime to the mixture and mix well.
    3. Fill planters, window boxes or plant pots three-fourths full with the soil mixture.
    4. Remove the geranium seedlings from their pots. Slide your left hand over the top of the pot so the stem of the plant rests between your fingers. Invert the pot and tap the bottom gently to loosen the soil.
    5. Position the seedling in the pot or planter at the original planting depth. Fill in around the roots with soil. Firm down with your hands to secure the geranium plant in the planter.
    6. Water thoroughly until water runs free from the drainage holes in the bottom of the planter. Allow soil to dry slightly before watering again. Check your planter often as plants grown in containers require more frequent water than those grown in soil.
    7. Arrange plant pots or containers in a sunny location that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Although geraniums will grow in less sun, blooms will not be as bright or abundant.
    8. Apply water-soluble fertilizer every 10 to 14 days following the application rate on the container.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add trailing plants with tiny blooms to the same pot as geraniums to add visual contrast. Try white lobelia or alyssum to add brightness to your arrangement.

  • For a patriotic planter, pair red geraniums with white alyssum and blue lobelia.

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