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How to Pinch Geraniums


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Geraniums are, according to the International Geranium Society, one of the most "universally popular" plants on Earth. And with good reason. Not only do geraniums add a bright punch of color to any garden, they are notoriously hardy and require very little special attention. The practice of "pinching" geraniums, while not absolutely necessary, is a pruning technique that is utilized simply to encourage new and fuller growth–a way to help your geraniums be the very best that they can possibly be.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Technique

  1. Run your fingers approximately one inch down the geranium stem. Be certain that you are grasping the main growing shoot and not a thinner shoot growing off the main stem.
  2. Hold the stem very securely to prevent uprooting the geranium or tugging at its delicate root system.
  3. Grip the upper part of the stem with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand.
  4. Pinch, or snap, the stem and discard the geranium bloom. Be mindful to pinch only the stem and not the bulb.

Timing

  1. Pinch newly planted or transplanted geraniums immediately upon planting to encourage healthy growth.
  2. Begin pinching established geranium plants in late spring or early summer.
  3. Check your geraniums once weekly for browning, fading or wilting blossoms. Pinch them off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your geranium plants free of dead or yellowing leaves or other debris.

  • Plant your geraniums in open spaces with plenty of sunlight. Avoid planting them under large trees.

  • Provide your geraniums with fertilizer every one to two weeks.

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