Geraniums are very popular plants that many people like to keep in their gardens. If you’re just now adding them to your garden this year, you might be looking into how to care for them properly.
Many people are unsure about their sunlight requirements, but it isn’t too hard to figure things out. Keep reading to get all of the necessary information about caring for geraniums.
If you utilize the advice below, your geraniums will have the best chance to grow strong. These aren’t necessarily hard plants to care for overall, but you will want to do things right so they can achieve optimal growth levels.
Most Geraniums Need Full Sun
Most of the annual geraniums that you can buy will need full sun in order to thrive. However, there is one notable exception to that rule that you should take note of.
The ivy geranium is going to grow best in light shade, and this means that you’ll need to take a different approach when caring for it. Perennial geraniums aren’t so picky, and they’re going to do well either in shade or in the sun, depending on which type you have purchased.
Before you make any decisions, it’s going to be best to identify which type you have. If you purchased the m from a garden center or nursery, there should be information about the plants that you can look at.
It’s also important to note that even geraniums that thrive in full sun will be able to use protection from the sun during the hottest parts of the year. If you happen to live in the southern portions of the United States, you’ll know that things can get very hot during the summer.
The scorching summer heat is unlikely to be good for your geraniums, so giving them a bit of shade during these months might be for the best. Protecting them during the hottest part of the day will help them to do better overall.
Using the Right Soil Is Essential
Another thing that you need to get right in order for geraniums to grow strong is the soil. The soil is going to play a major role in how they grow, and failure to use good soil will lead to middling or poor results.
The best type of soil to use for any type of geranium is going to have very good drainage. Most people choose soil that most closely resembles indoor potting soil.
A mixture of peat, perlite, and soil should do the trick nicely. Getting this right should make it easier to get the nutrients that they need, and they’ll dry out just fine between watering sessions too.
Using a type of soil that is far too dense is going to lead to problems, and the geraniums will likely not do well at all. Take the time to make your own soil mixture if you want them to grow the best that they can.
It’s also worth noting that you should space them out between eight and twelve inches from each other. You’ll have the best results if you choose to plant them at the same depth as the pots that they came in.
What About Indoor Geraniums?
Indoor geraniums are going to be pretty similar to outdoor geraniums, and you’re going to be using a standard potting soil mix for them. The indoor geraniums will need a lot of light to be able to bloom, and they should do fine with moderate light conditions.
If you can find them a bright spot in the house, you should be able to do well growing them indoors. You will want to be careful about the indoor temperatures, though.
You’ll need to avoid turning your air conditioning on too low of a setting if you’re caring for indoor geraniums. They do well in temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and can handle 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Really, so long as you’re keeping your home heated as normal, it’s unlikely that your house will get cooler than 55 degrees. You don’t want things to get too hot either since they won’t tolerate that well.
Watering Geraniums Properly
Watering geraniums properly is important when you’re trying to get them to grow strong. Annual geraniums should have their soil checked on a weekly basis to see if the top inch is dry.
When the top inch of soil is dry, you’re going to want to water them. Perennial geraniums are a little bit different since you’re supposed to keep the soil consistently moist during the first season that you’re taking care of them.
Perennials might be a little bit needy during that first season, but they’re going to be very easy to care for after that. In fact, they should be able to survive by only being watered by rainfall unless there is a drought once they have been established.
In the event of a drought, you’re going to want to check on your perennial geraniums and water them as normal. Other than that, they’re very easy to care for and shouldn’t give you any problems.
Mulch Can Help
Mulch can help a good bit with your geraniums because it’ll make soil and moisture retention better. Most experts say that placing a three-inch mulch layer around them is best.
You don’t want to put the mulch directly on them, though. If you use mulch to its full potential, the soil should stay moist for a bit longer and it’ll keep weeds from growing up to bother your geraniums.
There are many different types of mulch that you can use, but people commonly use pine straw and mulch that is made from shredded leaves. Simply pick your favorite mulch type and it’ll work to protect your plant.
Geraniums can also benefit from being given fertilizer. Outdoor geraniums will do well with a complete dry fertilizer, and many recommend 5-10-5 as the ideal choice.
You should be able to fertilize them every four to six weeks during the growing season. Indoor geraniums need very little fertilizer if you even choose to give them any at all.
After reading the information above, it should be easier to care for geraniums properly. This is going to give you a chance to correct any mistakes that you might be making.
Truthfully, taking care of them won’t be difficult for most people who have a little bit of experience caring for plants. They aren’t overly fussy, but you do need to ensure that the light requirements are being met and that you give them good soil.
Other than that, you’ll likely have an easy time getting these plants to grow. Pay attention to the specific type that you have so that you can make the right choices.
After a bit of time, you should notice that they’ll grow quite a bit. If you continue to care for them the right way, they’ll look strong and beautiful for quite some time.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.