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Geraniums - Perennial Or Annual?

March 31, 2024

geraniums perennial or annual

Geraniums are low maintenance plants that offer bright and lasting color in spring and summer. Some cultivars even bloom into fall depending on species/cultivar and region of origin. Geraniums thrive in sun or light shade environments and should be protected from intense afternoon sun in southern and western regions of the US.

Geraniums require well-draining soil as they may rot if overwatered. Use a slow release fertilizer regularly.

Perennial Geraniums

When entering a garden center and asking for "geraniums," the nursery attendant may steer you toward annual varieties; however, perennial options exist too. Plants from the Gernaniaceae family (such as hardy cranesbill or hardy geranium species) are commonly called pelargoniums and easy to grow from seeds or cuttings.

Pelargoniums thrive in both full sun and partial shade conditions, blooming from early summer through fall to bring vibrant hues of pinks, purples, violets and blues into any landscape. Some varieties such as 'Crystal Lake' serve as groundcover or rock wall accents.

There are over 300 hardy geranium varieties, each boasting unique flower colors and growth habits to meet a wide variety of landscaping purposes. Some, like Dreamland, boast long bloom times and are disease resistant; many cultivars also produce fragrant blossoms. If your geraniums don't produce blooms as expected, perhaps due to lack of light or insect infestation, deadheading regularly or moving them will help them produce more flowers - something which deadheading and transplanting won't do as effectively!

Annual Geraniums

Annual geraniums provide an eye-catching splash of color in flower beds or window boxes, and they're easy to grow from seed or transplanted young plants.

Geraniums thrive in full sun. You should plant them after the last frost has passed in spring or fall in well-draining soil and give them light fertilization during their growing season; water-soluble formula fertilizers work well. Regular deadheading will increase bloom time.

Geraniums make excellent companion plants for tomatoes, squash and peppers because they repel cabbage worms and beetle leafhoppers while simultaneously attracting bees and butterflies.

Zonal geraniums self-seed readily, making them suitable as ground covers in climates without frost or for indoor containers during winter indoors. When grown as standards they feature single stems topped by bushy globes of flowers and leaves on single stalks; other varieties have pendulous branches which droop down for hanging basket use and some varieties even have fragrant scents!

Scented Geraniums

Sweet-scented and colorful, scented geraniums bring garden fragrance into the home while making easy houseplants to care for. Plant them in full sun or part shade in rich soil that drains well, then amend with compost or organic matter as necessary. A 2- to 3-inch mulch layer laid over their roots (without touching them directly) keeps soil moist while blocking weeds that compete for sunlight and moisture.

Fertilize scented geraniums monthly during growing season using a well-balanced liquid fertilizer like Miracle-Gro(r) Shake 'N Feed(r) Rose & Flower Plant Food to keep plants strong and blooming freely. Over-fertilization leads to leggy plants with few blooms.

Pick scented geranium leaves for use in salads, cocktails and baked goods - they add subtle sweetness to teas, infused sugars and baked dishes! Plus their oils can even deter pests such as common aphids and whiteflies as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides! Propagation is simple with cuttings taken during spring or summer for indoor or outdoor growth as bedding plants.

Container Geraniums

Geraniums make excellent container plants for outdoor or indoor use, as you can propagate them by either taking stem cuttings or planting seeds.

Geraniums flourish when kept cool and bright; for optimal blooming they need 8+ hours of direct sunlight each day; indoor growing methods should include providing them with access to direct light as well as supplemental fluorescent or incandescent lights.

To protect geraniums from root rot, only water when their soil dries through to the top inch. Overwatering causes weak plants prone to disease. Keep humidity at an acceptable level both inside (using horticultural fleece may help) and outside, using 2- to 3-inch mulch such as bagged mulch, shredded leaves or pine straw as a barrier against weeds while keeping soil moist; using bagged mulch, shredded leaves or pine straw mulch as barrier may work better than pine straw mulch in doing this task! A monthly application of Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Ultra BloomTM plant food will give geraniums an added boost of nutrients ensuring beautiful flowers!


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