Beautiful Geraniums: Perfect for Hanging Baskets, Beds, Borders, and Containers
At Woolpit Nurseries, you can find a huge range of garden bedding plants including the colorful and low-maintenance Geraniums (also known as Pelargoniums). These vibrant plants are perfect for evoking a sense of holidaying in the sun with their beautiful clusters of red or orange flowers and bushy leaves that may have distinct markings of purple or red. Choose from Geraniums in a wide range of flower colours, from pure white to pink, mauve, and deep purple, some with ivy-shaped or wavy-margined leaves, trailing or upright varieties, and some with scented leaves.
Quick facts about Geraniums
- Heat and drought tolerance.
- Well-suited for container planting & hanging baskets.
- Long-lasting blooms throughout the summer.
- Vibrant, clustered flowers on long stems.
- Geranium is the common name for ‘hardy geraniums’, and ‘non-hardy geraniums’ or Pelargoniums.
- Some varieties have fragrant foliage, rose or lemon scented.
- To overwinter they need to be indoors or in a frost-free area.
Frequently Asked Questions – How to grow Geraniums
Geraniums are a favoured choice for summer bedding plants in the UK due to their variety of vivid colours or scented leaves. With proper care, geraniums can survive for several years, if you retrieve your geraniums before the first frosts and bring them indoors until late spring.
Geraniums can thrive in various types of garden soil, but they can enjoy optimal growth conditions in neutral or alkaline soil. For best results, it’s recommended to cultivate geraniums in a location that receives full sun exposure, whether in containers, hanging baskets, or flower beds.
Geraniums can be planted either in the early spring, from March onwards while providing some form of coverage to protect them from frosts, or in mid-May when the threat of frost has passed. This allows them to establish themselves before the onset of hot weather, ensuring that they will produce flowers throughout the summer season.
Geraniums should be cultivated in soil that is moist yet well-draining and placed in an area with full sunlight. To prevent winter losses, it is recommended to cut them back in late summer and take cuttings. During winter, most geraniums require protection, so it’s advisable to move their pots indoors during autumn to guarantee their growth the following year.
To successfully grow geraniums in containers, it’s important to select a multi-purpose compost that is free from peat and contains slow-release fertilizers. Pairing geraniums with other summer bedding plants can create a stunning visual display. When planted in high-quality compost and consistently watered, geraniums can thrive even when planted close to other non hardy plants.
During the summer months, it’s important to water geraniums well and to deadhead them regularly to promote a second burst of blooms.
Typically, geraniums are treated as annuals and are composted at the end of the summer. However, if you have a frost-free area, it may be worth trying to keep them alive through the winter.
To overwinter geraniums, remove them from garden soil or large pots and repot them into smaller containers before the first frost. Prune back any damaged leaves and wilted flowers by approximately a third, and place them in a bright, frost-free area. As the plants won’t go into complete dormancy, be sure to water them lightly throughout the winter. In the spring, provide them with a general liquid feed and increase watering. Wait until all danger of frost has passed (usually from late May) before planting them outdoors.
If you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering why some Geraniums are in with the “hardy” perennial plants whilst others are in the bedding plants? It’s because perennial Geraniums are “hardy geraniums” whereas bedding Geraniums are not hardy and also called Pelargoniums. While they are not hardy, they can survive the winter if kept in frost-free conditions such as a sunny windowsill or a heated conservatory.
Ivy-leaved Geraniums, named after the shape of their leaves, are ideal for growing in hanging baskets or containers. These trailing plants will beautifully display their stiff fleshy leaves as they tumble down the sides. With a variety of flower colors to choose from, you can expect a long flowering period that extends beyond the summer season, making them a great addition to any garden.
If you plan to plant in pots or containers, you can start as early as March in your garden boxes. However, you should be prepared to move them indoors if the weather drops below freezing. On the other hand, if you’re planning to plant directly in the garden, it’s best to wait until mid May.
You can take geranium cuttings at any time of year, but you’ll probably have more success in summer, when there’s plenty of light and warmth. If taking cuttings at other times of year you will need to use a heated propagator to increase your chances of success.
In spring, you can take cuttings from the new growth of plants that have been overwintered. However, if you prefer, you can also take cuttings in late summer.
To obtain cutting material, cut the stem above the third joint that is below the growing tip. Remove any flowering buds that are forming by pinching them out. Using a clean knife, remove all leaves except for the top two. Cut the base of the cutting just below the lowest joint.
Take a plastic garden pot and fill it with cutting compost, making sure to firmly pack it down. Add water and then insert the cuttings into the compost, burying them about 1cm deep. Place the pots in a location that is warm but not too hot and that receives plenty of light. It is important to label the pot if you have taken cuttings from multiple varieties.
Geraniums may not bloom prolifically due to two common reasons – insufficient light and excessive fertilizer. These plants thrive in sunlight and require 4-6 hours of full sun every day, or even longer in moderately filtered light. South and west-facing positions are typically ideal for geraniums to receive ample sunlight.
All types of Geraniums can be planted in hanging baskets, but trailing geraniums are especially suitable for this purpose. Trailing Geraniums produce numerous flowers and their shoots can grow up to 1.5 meters long, making them perfect for hanging flower pots.
If you don’t remove the faded flowers of geraniums, the plant may start to produce fewer flowers and eventually stop flowering altogether. Deadheading also prevents the formation of new seeds in the plant. It’s recommended to remove any brown or weak-looking geranium blooms by deadheading.
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