Geranium Flower Complete Guide To Grow And Care

It’s not true that the plants we call geraniums are geraniums. When you point to a geranium at a garden store, you’re most likely pointing to a Pelargonium, which belongs to a class of plants that are collectively referred to as “geraniums.” From a botanical perspective, hardy flowering perennial shrubs in the genus Geranium are linked to real geraniums.

Scented geraniums bring exquisite fragrances, attractive blossoms, and culinary applications that make them a great addition to hanging baskets, herb gardens, borders, and window boxes. Some are even suitable for covering terrain. One that can spread and cover—as long as it is spared from a severe frost—is the peppermint geranium. After there is no longer a threat of frost, plant in the spring.

In the South, geraniums are a popular choice for gardening. Growing swiftly, they bring beautiful blossoms and fragrant foliage to whatever area they are planted in, including backyard garden beds, pots, planters, and containers. Be aware that horses, dogs, and cats cannot consume these plants.

Geranium Plant Overview

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 Common Name Geranium, Pelargonium
Botanical Name Geranium
Family Geraniaceae
Plant Type Perennial shrub
Mature Size 48 in. tall, 36 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Neutral, alkaline
Bloom Time Spring, fall
Flower Color Red, pink, orange, purple, white
Hardiness Zones USDA Zones 9–11
Native Area Southern Africa
Toxicity Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses

Geranium Care

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Geraniums are relatively low-maintenance plants, however they may need occasional attention. They adore soil that drains properly and full sun. Although they can withstand drought, they do need frequent irrigation. Container-grown geraniums need more frequent watering because they dry up easily.

Light Requirements

This light-loving person needs the full sun. When planting in containers, you can relocate the pot to better suit the surrounding environment. You can assist the plant heal by providing it with some shade if it looks to be sunburned. Place the pot in the sun to add extra natural light if the geranium leaves start to turn yellow and bloom slowly.

Soil and Potting

Plant in any well-draining soil, and add a lot of organic matter to poor soil to improve it. Fertilizer is not necessary for geraniums growing in good garden soil; but, during vigorous growth, geraniums in light, sandy soil should receive two or three feedings.

Watering

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Geranium has to be watered moderately to frequently. Planting geraniums in pots requires more frequent watering since they dry up more quickly than geraniums planted in garden beds.

Temperature and Environment

The Grumpy Gardener states that “These plants may suffer from the intense summer heat.” In hot temperatures, many common geraniums lose their blooms, a phenomenon called “heat check.” (They’ll start flowering again when the temperature gets cooler.)” Grumpy says to prevent this by planting geraniums that can withstand heat, such as the ‘Americana’, ‘Orbit’, ‘Cascade’, and ‘Summer Showers varieties.

Fertilization

Avoid overfertilizing your geraniums by using a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer three times during the growing season, or a slow-release, granular fertilizer once in the spring.

Types of Geranium

Zonal geraniums, P. x hybridum: Large 4 to 5-inch flower clusters in a range of colors, including reds, pinks, and whites, bloom from spring through October. Single or double blooms are possible. Or added to flower beds in containers.

Ivy geraniums, P. peltatumThis cultivar, which is also popular in window boxes and hanging baskets, is also known as trailing geraniums. Flowers are solitary and marginally smaller than those of zonal geraniums.

Scented geraniums, P. graveolens: Has aromatic foliage with a range of fragrances, including lemon and rose. Little blossoms that resemble ivy geraniums in shape and color transition from spring to summer. Typically, they are potted.

Pruning

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Pruning geraniums is not necessary. Instead, the geranium must be deadheaded. When they are in bloom, trim off any fading or wilted blossoms. This will stimulate the growth of additional blooms. Pinching the growing tips of young geraniums to encourage the development of branches along the sides of the plant is another way you may aid in shaping the growth.

Propagating Geranium

Cuttings or water are two simple ways that geraniums can be multiplied to create new plants. Although cuttings can be taken at any time of year, it is best to do it in the early spring or summer when the plant isn’t quite in flower.

  • Cut a 4- to 6-inch length from a healthy stem using clean pruning shears. 
  • Just above the node that joins the stem to the main plant, chop it off. 
  • Save a few leaves near the top of the stem and remove the lower ones. 
  • Insert the cutting end into the rooting hormone. 
  • Put the cutting in a vase or jar with water in it. Water should be changed every few days. 
  • Approximately four weeks will pass after the cutting has taken root. Move it to a soil-filled, well-draining pot.

 

Follow the previous instructions to propagate in soil, but instead of dipping the cut stem in rooting hormone, drop it straight into a tiny pot of moist soil. Keep wet and place in bright, indirect light.

How To Grow Geranium From Seed

Late January is the ideal time to grow these plants from seed. Fill each hole with wet planting mix and press firmly with spotless planting flats. Using your finger, make a small indentation and plant the seed according to the geranium seed package’s instructions. After lightly covering the seed with planting media, press it into the ground. After giving the soil a little water, place the planting flat beneath a grow light.

Move the seedling into a tiny nursery pot as soon as it develops two or more leaves. To increase the plant’s tolerance to the outdoors, place the pots outside in partial shade before planting. Plant the geraniums in window boxes, planting beds, or pots after a week.

Potting And Repotting Geranium

Taking care of geraniums in pots is comparable to taking care of garden plants. Geraniums require soil that is nutrient-rich, well-drained, and wet. Since geraniums are grown in pots, they can readily moved indoors for the winter or around the yard for extra light. Choose a pot that is big enough for the plant and has drainage holes, then fill it with premium potting soil. To help improve drainage, amend potting soil with organic matter. Wet the dirt and add the plant. Put it in a bright area where the plant will receive six hours or more of light each day.

Geraniums don’t require frequent repotting because they prefer to be root-bound. When repotting, use a pot that is just a little bit bigger—roughly an inch or two—than the original pot.

Overwintering

Bring your container inside before the first frost and set it in front of a bright window for six hours a day, or until the temperature rises above fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, let them lie dormant in a cold, dark place like the garage where they won’t freeze. After allowing the soil to get slightly moist, remove any rot, dead leaves, and blooms. In order to accustom the plant to warmer temperatures and to continue watering it, move the pot outside every day after the final frost of the spring and gradually expose it to more sun. Feedings should resume at night as soon as the temperature rises above 50°F.

Common Pests

Your geranium may have an infestation if you notice ragged petals or unopened buds on your plant. Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies are common pests. In some places, tobacco budworms might be an issue. Neem oil or spinosad spraying is the most common method of controlling pests.

How To Get Geranium To Bloom?

The New Southern Living Garden Book states that you should “plant in any good, fast-draining soil and amend poor soil with plenty of organic matter” when it comes to geranium care. Fertilizer is not necessary for geraniums growing in healthy garden soil; nevertheless, those in light, sandy soil should be fed twice or three times during active growth.” During the flowering season, you need to regularly remove fading and wilted flowers to tend to them.

New flowers will appear as a result of this. Pinching the growing tips of young geraniums to encourage the development of branches along the sides of the plant is another way you may aid in shaping the growth.

Common Problems With Geranium

Geraniums don’t usually cause problems for gardeners. The leaves are typically an indicator that the plant is having trouble developing if the growing environment isn’t ideal. Here’s what to do if you notice leaves curling or turning yellow.

Leaves Turning Yellow

There are various factors that might lead to yellowing leaves, including disease, sunshine, weather, and irrigation. Make sure the plant has well-draining soil and is in a pot with drainage holes to prevent it from receiving too much or too little water. Water it only until the top inch of soil has dried off. Soggy soil is not good for geraniums. Move the plant and allow it to dry out if it is in an area where it receives too much rain. If a geranium is submerged, its tops and edges will turn yellow first.

Verify that the plant is receiving enough sunlight if water is not the problem. If the shade is too great, the leaves will turn yellow. Because geraniums dislike the cold, a sudden drop in temperature may cause their leaves to turn yellow. As the plant gets closer to dormancy, geraniums cultivated as perennials will also lose their leaves. Springtime will bring with it new green vegetation.

Leaves Curling

A geranium will curl its leaves in response to too much sun. Give the plant morning sun and afternoon shade if you live in a hot environment. In addition, geranium leaves will curl in response to sudden temperature fluctuations. When indoors, keep the temperature steady and shield the geranium from drafts.

Also Read: Texas Bluebonnet Complete Guide To Grow And Care

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