Geraniums are hardy, vibrant blooms perfect for any garden. They are fantastic for pollinators such as bees and hoverflies, providing a long season of nectar and pollen. Hardy geraniums can be great self-seeders and may grow in tiny cracks in paving, showcasing their toughness. In this guide, you'll learn how to grow and care for them, ensuring you can enjoy their beauty year after year.
How to Grow Geraniums
Geraniums are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in the spring. They don’t require any frost protection over winter. You can plant them straight into a clear, cultivated space in borders during spring or use patio containers. Another option is to start them in temporary pots for a few months before planting them out later in the season. Before planting, soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours to improve their moisture absorption. When planting, ensure the roots are fully submerged, with the buds or crown just below the surface, and expose any top growth or leaves above the soil level. Geraniums thrive in full sun or partial shade and prefer free-draining soil. In containers, you can use soil-based or multipurpose compost. Space the plants 20-30 cm apart to allow for proper airflow and prevent overcrowding. Water the geraniums after planting, and keep them hydrated during their first year of growth. Once established, geraniums typically don’t need much additional water. In autumn, cut back stems and foliage down to ground level. Additionally, you can cut them back in midsummer after flowering to potentially encourage a second bloom in late summer.
- Plant in spring, no winter frost protection needed.
- Borders or patio containers, temporary pots for growth.
- Soak roots 3-6 hours before planting.
- Submerge roots, buds below soil, top growth exposed.
- Full sun or partial shade, free-draining soil.
- Containers: use soil-based or multipurpose compost.
- Space 20-30cm apart for airflow.
- Water after planting, less water once established.
- Prune in autumn and mid-summer after flowering.
How to Care for Geraniums
After planting, keep the geraniums well-hydrated during their first year of growth. Once the plants are established, they typically don’t require much additional water. During autumn, it's essential to cut back the stems and foliage down to ground level. This practice helps the plant focus its energy on the roots during the dormant period. Optionally, you can also trim back the plants in mid-summer after flowering, which may encourage them to produce more blooms later in the season if the weather is favourable.
By following these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the charm of geraniums in your garden. Their resilience and beauty make them a delightful addition to any outdoor space. Happy gardening!