By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) make popular bedding plants in the garden but they’re also commonly grown indoors or outside in hanging baskets. Growing geranium plants is easy as long as you can give them what they need.
How to Grow Geraniums
Depending on where or how you grow geranium plants, their needs will be somewhat different. Indoors, geraniums need lots of light for blooming but will tolerate moderate light conditions. They also need indoor temps of around 65-70 degrees F. during the day and 55 degrees F. at night.
These plants need to be grown in well-draining potting soil as well. When growing geraniums outdoors, they require moist, but well-draining soil similar to that of indoor potting soil with equal amounts of soil, peat and perlite.
Locate your geraniums in an area with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Since these plants must be protected from cold, wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting.
Space plants about 8-12 inches apart and around the same depth as their original planting pots. Mulching the plants is also recommended to help retain moisture.
Care of Geraniums
Whether indoors or out, geranium care is pretty basic. In addition to watering, which should be done deeply and once the soil begins to feel dry indoors or at least weekly outdoors (though potted plants may need daily watering in hot weather), fertilizing is usually necessary. Use a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer or a 5-10-5 fertilizer with additional organic matter every 4-6 weeks throughout their active growing season.
Indoor or potted plants may require repotting once they become overgrown, usually noted by wilting between waterings. Regular deadheading of spent blooms will also help encourage additional blooming. When watering outdoor plants, it’s best to avoid overhead irrigation, as this can lead to pests or disease issues.
Geranium plants root easily from cuttings and can be propagated in fall for overwintering of outdoor plants. They can also be dug up and brought inside.