If properly cared for, geraniums will produce flowers tirelessly from early summer until late autumn. Geranium is one of the most beloved annual flowers but, if overwintered properly, you can enjoy it the following year as well.
Unlike many other flowers, geranium is not at all demanding; it tolerates almost any environment while being resistant to disease and pests.
One of its most important requirements is moderate watering and well-drained soil. Geraniums grow in rich, fertile and well-drained soil. This allows their roots to spread easily and absorb nutrients quickly – not only the nutrients in the soil, but also those provided by additional fertilization during the season.
Unfortunately, if the potting soil is poor in nutrients, even nutrients added in the form of liquid or dry fertilizer will not be absorbed by the roots, as it either flows through the plant or cannot find its way to the roots. In both cases, geraniums can’t produce new shoots and won’t flower abundantly.
It is not only the condition of the soil that is important, but also the amount of soil available for each plant. This is particularly important when growing geraniums in baskets, containers or pots.
Avoid pots with a small circumference, as these can quickly overheat in the hot summer sun. The soil will dry out quickly and damage the roots over time.
Choose pots with a diameter of at least 30-35 cm for standing pots or hanging baskets. When planting in beds, always add plenty of compost to the soil to keep it light and fertile.
The flowering period of geraniums is long, extending into autumn, so you can enjoy abundant blooms throughout the summer and beyond. Geranium flowers attract many pollinators, various butterflies and bees, which also help the plants to flower.
If you let the geraniums grow freely, they will grow upwards rather than outwards. This can give the plants and the resulting blooms a thin and sparse appearance. However, if you cut back the growth of the foliage early in the season, you can create stockier, fuller-bodied plants.
For best results, pinch back the foliage and stems to about 1/3 of the plant’s size (cut back with scissors). This will force the plant to develop new shoots below the cut part.
Geraniums can be encouraged to flower if they are kept on a sunny, well-ventilated windowsill. They will never grow well indoors, and fresh air is important for them. However, the pot where they are kept should not be draughty, and constant hot sun is not good for them either. In a nutshell, they need light, sunshine, air and water, but only in moderation and in a balanced way.
Already in April, care should be taken not to keep the plants over a few hours in the midday sun. Protection and care will help the plants bloom until the first frosts of late autumn. If you feed them with a suitable liquid fertilizer added to the water at regular intervals, the plants will reward the care many times over.
Pick off the withered flowers from the plants; the more diligently you do this, the more abundantly your geraniums will bloom.
This way, the plant’s energy and resources are concentrated on producing new flowers, rather than trying to save what remains of the old stems. As long as there are dying stems and flower heads left on the plant, the plant will continue to try to save them with nutrients.