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How to look after a Geranium

Choosing the Right Geranium:

  • There are various types of geraniums, including common garden geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) and scented-leaved geraniums (Pelargonium spp.). Choose a type that suits your preferences and growing conditions.

2. Light and Location:

  • Geraniums thrive in bright, indirect sunlight or partial sun. Place them in a location where they receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. In very hot climates, some afternoon shade can be beneficial.
  • Indoors, place geraniums near a south- or west-facing window to ensure they get sufficient light.

3. Soil and Planting:

  • Use well-draining potting mix with good aeration for container-grown geraniums. In the garden, ensure the soil is well-draining and has been enriched with compost.
  • Plant geraniums at the same depth they were growing in their nursery pots. Space them about 12-18 inches apart, depending on the variety.

4. Watering:

  • Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering thoroughly. Geraniums prefer slightly moist soil but are sensitive to waterlogged conditions.
  • Water at the base of the plant to prevent moisture on the leaves, which can lead to fungal diseases.

5. Fertilization:

  • Feed geraniums with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring through early fall).
  • If using slow-release granular fertilizer, apply it at the beginning of the growing season and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

6. Pruning and Deadheading:

  • Regularly pinch or snip off spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation. This process is known as deadheading.
  • Prune leggy or straggly growth to promote a bushier and more compact plant. Cut just above a node where new growth emerges.

7. Pests and Diseases:

  • Monitor your geraniums for common pests like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or gray mold. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent these issues.

8. Overwintering:

  • Geraniums are sensitive to frost and will not survive cold winters outdoors in most climates. Before the first frost, bring potted geraniums indoors.
  • Prune back leggy growth, reduce watering, and place them in a sunny window. Alternatively, you can dig up and pot geraniums for overwintering indoors.

9. Propagation:

  • Geraniums can be propagated from stem cuttings. Take 4-6 inch cuttings from healthy growth, remove lower leaves, and plant them in a well-draining potting mix.
  • Keep the cuttings humid and in bright, indirect light until they root. Once rooted, transplant them to individual pots.

10. Repotting:

  • Geraniums may become root-bound in their containers over time. Repot them into slightly larger pots with fresh potting mix every 2-3 years.
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