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How to Care for Geraniums

How to Care for Geraniums

Geraniums add a splash of color to your patio across summer in pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. Read the Gardenerdy article to learn how to care for geraniums, and make these plants last for a long time.
Gardenerdy Staff
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Geraniales
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Geranium

Geraniums, a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants, are also known as the cranesbills. These plants can be found in areas like the tropical mountains, and the eastern parts of the Mediterranean region. They bloom attractive flowers that rise above the plants on long stems called umbrels. They can be grown in any type of soil, only if it isn't too moist or muddy. This plant is often cultivated for its pharmaceutical uses and landscape value.

It bloom throughout summer and require frequent watering. There are indoor and outdoor plants available, that come in vibrant colors and beautiful scents. Many people plant it in their homes and/or offices to enhance the d├ęcor. The beautiful clusters of red, white, light pink, and dark purple petals really help make the entire room look alive. So if you have or are thinking of keeping it in your home, you need to know how to take care of it properly.

Instructions for Proper Care

Apart from the ivy-leaved geraniums, which are potted in hanging pots, it can be planted in your backyard or the patio.
  1. To plant it in pots or in the ground, mix organic compost in the soil that contains ingredients such as Sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
  2. Make sure you choose an area that gets direct sunlight. These plants require at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
  3. You will have to fertilize the soil every 2 weeks or so. Buy a balanced fertilizer that can easily dissolve in water.
  4. Plus, while you water the plants, at every 3rd watering, add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt per gallon of water.
  5. One of the most crucial steps is to wait till the threat of frost is over. The soil should be warm as the plant benefits from a well-drained soil. Even during winter, it require as much sunlight as possible.
  6. Always water the plants early in the morning. But before you do so, place your fingers in the soil to check whether it is dry or not. If the soil feels dry, water the plants deeply until the soil is properly soaked.
  7. Every now and then, remove dead flowers and leaves as they may have insects or bacteria stuck to it, which can spread harmful diseases to the rest of the plants.
  8. Common insects like caterpillars love to eat the plants. Purchase a spray from the local garden center that helps in repelling caterpillars, whiteflies, and mites off of the plants. If there are any termites, you will need to do a termite treatment in the soil. In case there are any slugs, place a pan of beer in the garden. They will get attracted to the beer more than your plants.
If you have planned on keeping it indoors, keep the temperature between 55-65 degrees during the day. Plus, if the plants are near the window, make sure there isn't a direct heat source or cold drafty winds. So keep the plants away from the air conditioner, heater, and the fireplace. Too much cool or hot air drafts affect the overall health of the plants.