Image by Ken Bosma
By Heather Rhoades
Pruning geraniums can help keep them looking their best. Cutting back geraniums will prevent woody and leggy geraniums, especially in geraniums that have been overwintered. Below you will find information on how to prune geranium plants to keep them looking healthy.
Steps for Pruning Geraniums
There are three different methods for cutting back geraniums. Which one you use will depend on what you are trying to do.
Pruning Geraniums After Winter Dormancy
If you place your geraniums into dormancy for overwintering or if you live in an area where geraniums die back some over the winter, the best time when to prune geraniums is in early spring.
Remove all of the dead and brown leaves from the geranium plant. Next trim away any unhealthy stems. Healthy geranium stems will feel firm if gently squeezed. If you would like a less woody and leggy geranium, cut back the geranium plant by 1/3, focusing on stems that have started to turn woody.
Cutting Back Geraniums That are Wintered Alive
If you do not put your geraniums into dormancy for the winter and they stay green in the ground or in containers year round, the best time when to prune geraniums is in late fall or just before you bring them indoors, if you plan on bringing them indoors.
Prune the geranium plant back by 1/3 to 1/2, focusing on stems that are woody or leggy.
How to Pinch Geraniums
Pinching geraniums is a type of geranium pruning that forces the plant to grow more compact and bushy. Pinching can be done on new bedding geranium plants that you have just bought or on geraniums that have been overwintered. Geranium pinching starts in spring.
Once a stem on a geranium plant has gotten to be a few inches, using a sharp pair of scissors, or even your fingers, snip or pinch a 1/4-1/2 inch off the end of the stem. Repeat on all the stems. This will force the geranium to grow2 new stems off the original and this is what creates the bushier, fuller plant. You can continue pinching geraniums all through spring, if you would like.
Pruning geraniums is easy and makes your geranium look healthier. Now that you know how to prune geranium plants, you can enjoy your geraniums more.