How to Grow Geraniums
Annual Summer Blooming Plants Easy to Use in Container Gardens
Apr 21, 2008 Christine Eirschele
Geranium with Spike – morgueFileSummer blooming plants, like annual geraniums, are easy to grow. Geraniums are low maintenance plants, whether planted in a container or garden bed.
Basic Care for Geraniums
Annual geraniums grow and flower best in full sun and moist, well draining soil. Geraniums growing in part shade may tolerate that level of light but will not produce flowers well. Always amend soil in a garden bed with organic material before planting. In container gardens use pre-bagged potting soil or a soil-less mix.
Pelargonium, commonly called geranium, is not the hardy perennial Geranium that returns every year. The annual geranium can be planted anytime after the first frost-free date in the area. Geraniums do not tolerate frost or cold temperatures. Their foliage will become tinged with red and plant growth will be slowed.
Plant geraniums in the soil at the same level they were in the pot when purchased from the store. A gardener should follow spacing directions listed on the plant tag for the type and cultivar of the geranium. The basic zonal geranium grows with a round, mounding type habit to 12 – 20 inches tall with a 12 inch spread.
Fertilize geraniums with a timed-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer, following directions. The fertilizer should have equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium or with phosphorus the larger number such as 20-20-20 or 15-30-15.
Water geraniums using a watering can or soaking hose, versus an overhead sprinkler. Allow the soil, in ground planting beds, to dry out between watering. Container gardens with geraniums may require watering every day, depending on the weather, but the pot should never be constantly wet or sitting in a pool of water.
Deadhead annual geranium plants to maintain healthy plants. Geraniums are susceptible to disease and insects such as stem rot and mites; a good daily/weekly clean up of plant debris is an important part of garden maintenance for annual geraniums.
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Gardening With Pelargoniums
Annual geraniums come in many types. The basic zonal, regal or Martha Washington geraniums, ivy, fancy-leafed, scented, mosquito or the stellar with deep cut foliage give gardeners a multitude of choices.
Types of geraniums such as regal or Martha Washington geraniums are usually used as houseplants. They have large flowers but are not heat tolerant. When they are planted outside these geraniums usually shut down flowering as the weather heats up and will resume flowering as the temperature drops in early fall.
The geranium planted with the Dracaena, spike, and vinca vine is a traditional container planting, sometimes overused. However, it is a reliable, inexpensive plant grouping that combines vertical interest, bold color and a trailer for the container garden.
Read more at Suite101: How to Grow Geraniums: Annual Summer Blooming Plants Easy to Use in Container Gardens http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-grow-geraniums-a51459#ixzz1ELUnZH20