This geranium care article covers everything you need to know about growing and maintaining geraniums indoors, especially if you’re new to gardening.
But first a little background on this under-rated, easy to care for plant.
Potted geraniums are tropical perennials that are usually grown as annual flowers and have red, purple, pink or white blooms. They’re actually part of the Pelargonium genus, native to South Africa.
To be honest, it wasn’t that long ago when any mention of geraniums immediately took me back to my mother’s outdoor garden.
I didn’t realise that geraniums can also be grown indoors in window boxes, pots or hanging baskets and can provide you with beautiful flowers all year round.
And being low maintenance, they’re a great choice for newbie gardeners and the time poor.
They usually flower from March to June and can flower all the time if you provide them with sufficient light in your home.
When the plant reaches maturity, it can grow between 5 and 36 inches in height, depending on the variety of geranium.
Nowadays, you can find various types, including cultivars, suitable for vining and hanging.
Their leaves are thick and pleated and are commonly known as hardy geraniums or cranesbills.
When you provide them with the right care indoors, they’ll reward you with beautiful foliage and bright, colourful flowers.
In addition to aesthetics, you also get other benefits from keeping this plant indoors: it will purify the air and repel mosquitoes and plus, their aroma is wonderful!
Important to Know:
If you have children and pets around, make sure this plant is out of the reach as it’s toxic in case of ingestion, according to ASPCA!
How to Care for Geraniums
The light requirements for geranium plants depend on where you’ll be growing them. Indoors, they need a lot of light to bloom; however, they can still tolerate moderate light.
South or west window sills are considered the optimal areas, particularly during colder months.
But, don’t worry if you don’t have sufficient natural light in your home, artificial light will also help, for example, a fluorescent bulb or LED grow lights.
These plants originate from tropical areas and warm regions. They’re not fans of cold temperatures and will do best when kept in an area between 55 and 80 degrees F.
If exposed to any temperature below that, stunted growth and eventually death may occur.
Water & Humidity
This plant is known to be relatively good in tolerating drought and therefore, it can be watered sporadically.
But, never leave the soil too dry for too long as the leaves will begin to droop and decline. Water in the morning or at night, not in the afternoon when the temperatures are at their highest.
If you want to encourage more blooms, stress the plant a bit by watering it after the soil has been dry for 24 or 48 hours.
Concerning humidity, these plants don’t like too much and it can actually cause problems like pests and diseases!
The potting soil for your geranium should be one that will drain well and abundant in organic matter.
It’s also good if it’s enriched with peat moss, garden loam, and coarse perlite or sand.
To optimize the flowering and growth of indoor geraniums, feed them in the growing season.
Opt for a time-release fertilizer or an all-purpose one at around half strength, once per month.
Did you know that geraniums bloom optimally when they’re slightly root-bound?
Hence, repot them in bigger pots only when it’s needed. Don’t choose a much larger container, but one size bigger will do just fine.
Take it out of the current soil, clean and inspect the roots, and set them well in the fresh soil and water them.
Most geraniums live longer if they’re divided every 3 to 5 years; however, you can also do it more often if you want to get new plants.
Divide the plant in early spring or summer. Dig it up and shake off as much as soil as possible. Then, with a trowel or a knife, separate it into sections.
Each section should have a root and leaves. Replant them into fresh soil and water them well.
Popular Types of Geraniums
This violet and blue hybrid is awesome for those who want an ongoing flowering through summer. It can reach between 18 and 24 inches in height.
Geranium Sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill)
This eye-catching variety has large, bright, magenta, and pink, cup-shaped flowers with dark veins.
It blooms from late spring to late summer and it definitely adds a colourful and attractive splash to any space.
This is a dwarf variety that keeps low, around 10 inches. It has fragrant dark-green foliage with deep-lobed and round leaves that go pinky red in the autumn.
Expect white blooms to appear in early spring through late summer.
Other Geranium Care Tips
Deadheading is a pivotal gardening task that should be done regularly, especially in the growing season.
It actually means removing dead or tired flowers from the plants to encourage new blooms. It also helps keep the plant neat, and conserves its energy.
You can do it in several ways, i.e. through pruning, pinching, or shearing.
Trouble Shooting- Common Geranium Care Issues
Problem: Parched leaves, webbing or tiny specks
Cause: Spider mites.
Solution: Treat the affected parts with 1 percent solution of Neem oil.
Problem: Leaf spots & gray mold
Cause: Very warm and humid area.
Solution: Improve the air flow or use copper-soap fungicides. Also, water gradually at soil level and don’t splash the leaves.
Problem: Leaves are yellowing
Cause: Excessive moisture or overwatering.
Solution: Pause the watering and give the plants time to dry off before you resume, but do it less often than before.
I hope that you’ve found this geranium care guide interesting and helpful.
Here are some more easy to care for indoor flowering plants. Check them out!
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