Geraniums are stunning plants with brightly colored blooms that sit atop a stalk. They are a common sight in flowerbeds, but can also be grown as an indoor plant.
In most areas, geraniums are considered an annual since they cannot survive the winter.
But did you know that you can keep your geraniums blooming all summer long? It’s not only true, it is also not too difficult.
With the right care and maintenance, you can keep those blooms looking their best all the way until the first frost.
Remove Spent Blooms
Spent blooms do nothing but use the plant’s vital resources. They don’t add any value to the plant or your landscape and only take up space and waste the plant’s energy that it could use to make new blooms and growth. This is true for both perennial and annual geraniums.
When the bloom begins to brown and wilt, it’s time to remove it. Using a clean pair of pruning shears, cut the spent bloom as far back on the base as possible.
Pinch Back the Plant
Geraniums can quickly become leggy if not properly maintained. This is especially true if they are grown in hanging baskets or containers.
Leggy means they grow long stems (legs) and few blooms. While this can occur at anytime, it is most common in midsummer when the days are the longest and the hottest.
You can keep them from getting leggy by pinching back the stem growth. This helps to promote thick and dense growth with more blooms. To pinch back the stems, use a pair of clean pruning shears and cut back the stems to 3/4 inch.
Feed that Plant
Fertilizer plays a big role in ensuring your geraniums continue to bloom. Unfortunately, many gardeners overlook these much needed nutrients since geraniums are often grown outdoors as an annual.
After all, if they are just going to die off when frost hits, why waste fertilizer? If you want to maintain healthy geraniums that produce stunning blooms all summer long, you’re going to need liquid fertilizer.
An all-purpose liquid fertilizer works well for geraniums and should be applied every 2 weeks during the plant’s active growing season.
Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle for the recommended application amount, and cut that back to 1/2 strength.
Don’t fertilize the geraniums in the winter since this is considered their dormant period.
Proper Water is Important for Continuous Blooms
Too little or too much water will cause stress to the geraniums, and when plants are stressed, they cannot produce blooms.
Stress can even stunt growth and eventually kill the plant. That is why it is important to ensure the geranium receives the right amount of water.
Geraniums growing in hanging baskets, pots, and containers will typically need watered more often than the ones growing in your flowerbed.
The best method of watering geraniums is to water less frequently, but when you do water, to water the plant deeply.
Furthermore, only water when the top few inches of the soil feels dry. If it is still moist or damp, wait and check the soil for dryness for a day or two.
Give the Plant Light
Light is another factor needed to keep the plants blooming. Geraniums are sun-loving plants that can also do well in partial sunlight. They will, however, need at least 6 hours a day of sun exposure to keep producing those stunning blooms.
If you’re growing the plant indoors, you can move it outside in the sun during the warmer months. This can help ensure it gets the vital sunlight for healthy growth.