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Have your geraniums stopped blooming? Or perhaps you’d like to have them bloom more? Pelargonium plants, commonly known as geraniums, can easily keep blooming all season long and all the way into frost if you give them what they like. Keep reading to find out how to get geraniums to bloom and keep them going.
HOW TO GET GERANIUMS TO BLOOM
I’ve been growing geraniums for many years in my garden. They are easy to grow, but they do require just a little knowledge, as well as maintenance, to keep them going strong and look their best.
Native to Africa, they are actually tender perennials, but for those of us that live in cold winter areas, we grow them as annuals.
If you want to let them go dormant until the next Spring, you can also easily overwinter your geraniums or even keep them growing in a sunny windowsill indoors. They achieve a beautiful character as they age and can grow into beautiful specimens.
1. PROVIDE ENOUGH LIGHT
The number one factor in getting your geraniums to bloom is to provide enough light. These are sun-loving plants so situate your plants in full sun for best results. If all you have are shady areas, this is not the plant for your garden.
An area with partial sun (at least half a day) can work too, but the more the better for good growth and flowering. After all, no one grows these plants just for the foliage.
Full sun will also help keep your plants stronger and sturdier.
If you live in an area that has very strong sun and very hot summers, it may benefit your plants if they have a bit of shade during mid-day.
2. DEADHEAD YOUR GERANIUMS
Deadheading your geraniums is very important in order to help keep your plants blooming. Deadheading simply means that you’ll be removing the spent flowers.
You don’t just want to remove the faded flower petals though. When each flower head starts to look ugly, go ahead and snip the entire flower stem as low as you can on the plant.
Why is deadheading important? It is crucial because you will help to redirect your plant’s energy into growing new flowers, instead of wasting its energy on maintaining old flower stems and producing seed.
If you look at the photo below, you can see the long, green seed head starting to form.
Although you can grow geraniums from seed, depending on the cultivar or hybrid that you have, the resulting offspring may not look like the parent plant.
When you deadhead, you should also remove any of the flower petals that have fallen on the foliage.
Geraniums can make a mess, and if you don’t remove the flower petals on the leaves, they can disfigure the leaves over time and cause unsightly yellow and brown spots on the leaves.
Not cleaning up the flower petals can also encourage pests and disease, so keep your foliage clean!
3. PROPER WATERING AND FERTILIZING
Proper watering is very important when it comes to keeping your plant in good shape and blooming all summer long. Geraniums like to dry out somewhat in between watering.
If the surface of your plant’s soil feels moist, don’t water.
Wait until the top inch or so feels dry before watering again. Geraniums can be prone to root rot if they’re kept too wet.
How often should you water your geraniums? Always go by the soil dryness and not by your calendar.
So many factors can affect how quickly your soil dries out including light levels, temperature, the soil type, and even the type of pot if you’re growing them in pots.
In very hot, sunny weather, your geraniums may need to be watered daily or every other day. Especially if they’re growing in smaller pots, particularly terra cotta pots which are very porous.
In cooler, overcast weather, you may be able to get away with once a week. It all depends. Just remember the rule of thumb and wait however long it takes until the top inch of the soil has dried out before watering again.
You should be feeding your geraniums regularly throughout the growing season. I normally use a combination of fertilizers.
At planting time when I do my pots, I’ll incorporate some Osmocote (link to Amazon) fertilizer into the potting mix. This is a slow-release fertilizer that releases nutrients each time I water. I only apply this once at the beginning of the growing season.
In addition to this, I’ll use a bloom booster-type fertilizer every couple of weeks. I like to use Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster Flower Food (link to Amazon).
I’ll stop the bloom booster fertilizer around early Fall or so, or whenever temperatures are starting to get cooler.
For a more detailed account on fertilizing, check out my fertilizer routine for geraniums that results in abundant blooming.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to get geraniums to bloom. If you stick with a good fertilizer routine, give your plant plenty of sun, and have good watering practices, your geraniums will be the envy of all your neighbors!
If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my post on are geraniums perennials or annuals?