Geraniums are low-maintenance, classic beauties and a tried-and-true favorite of many gardeners. When most people think of annual geraniums, they picture zonal geraniums, but there are also seed geraniums, ivy geraniums, regal (aka Martha Washington) geraniums, and scented geraniums. All but the scented geraniums produce vibrant blooms, thrive in the heat, and bloom all summer long. Scented geraniums have smaller, less showy blooms, and are grown instead for their variety of pleasant smelling foliage, ranging from citrus to sweet.
Full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun per day). Regal geraniums do well with a little shade in the afternoon during the heat of summer to keep cool.
Geraniums are great for containers, hanging baskets, or beds. They also tolerate high heat and benefit from ample air circulation.
Prefers rich, well-draining soil. Always use quality potting soil in containers, such as our custom soil mix. Our custom soil mix is the same soil we use to grow all of our plants, which we’ve designed to contain a blend of ingredients for optimal nutrient content, moisture retention, aeration, and beneficial microbes. Amend garden beds with compost, if necessary.
Allow soil to dry between watering. If possible, water in the morning and avoid wetting the foliage to prevent disease.
Geraniums are heavy feeders, and benefit from a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote, or a bloom boosting water-soluble feed, such as Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, every 2-3 weeks during the growing season.
Dead-head spent blooms regularly to encourage the production of more blooms. Dead-head by snapping the base of the flower stem in the opposite direction of growth.
Plant outside once the danger of frost has passed and soil temperature has reached 60 degrees F.
Geraniums can be overwintered as a regular houseplant in a bright location. Be sure to reduce watering as the days get shorter and growing slows. Geraniums can also be overwintered in a more dormant state in the basement by cutting back by half, placing in the basement, and watering very occasionally, just enough to keep it alive (about once a month). Check to make sure the stems aren’t shriveling from lack of moisture.
Click here to view some of the geranium varieties available at America’s Best Flowers.