How to Care for Geraniums
Geraniums bloom throughout the summer, require only infrequent watering and come in many great colors. Most varieties are outdoor plants, but the Martha Washington makes an ideal indoor plant the year round. Here’s how to care for geraniums of every type.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Compost or peat moss
- Grow geraniums from cuttings. Take cuttings in September from healthy plants in dry soil. Trim 3-4 inches away from the tips and remove leaves. Plant the stem in coarse sand and water it often. Keep the cutting in indirect sunlight.
- Once the cutting has rooted, plant it in full sun and water when needed. Fertilize with a mild liquid food for the first 2 weeks. Alternatively, buy a potted geranium ready to plant.
- Plant geraniums when the soil is warm and the frosts are over. Geraniums like well-drained soil and need a full day of sun. Pick a sunny spot and cover the earth with compost or peat moss. Till the soil and plant the geranium as deep as the pot it came in. The ideal pH of the soil should be 6.5.
- Spread mulch around your geraniums to retain moisture. Feed your plant. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season will help your geranium stay strong.
- Water your geraniums early in the day. They don’t like to have wet leaves, so water them carefully. A morning watering allows time for any splashes on the leaves to evaporate. Geraniums only need watering once a week or so, depending on precipitation and temperature.
- Deadhead your geraniums to increase the blooms. Pull off dead leaves and passed blossoms. This will also stop the spread of diseases, such as black leg, gray mold, rust and leaf spots.
- Watch for insects. Caterpillars love to eat geraniums. A spray from your local garden center will repel caterpillars, aphids, whiteflies and mites. Termites will require a termite treatment in the soil. To rid your garden of slugs, try setting out a saucer of beer. The slugs will be more attracted to the beer than your geraniums.