Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials

Hardy Geraniums (page 2 of 3)

by Robin M.W. Parer

How to Grow

Geraniums require well-drained, fertile, and moist soil. If you live where summer rain is infrequent or nonexistent, plan to water weekly or so. Keep in mind that geraniums are wild flowers and in most gardens do not need much coddling.

If growth is untidy, cut plants back in midseason to about 1 inch above the main stem (2 or 3 inches above the soil level). Plants will renew leaves and produce occasional flowers during the remainder of the growing season.

Growing geraniums in southern regions with high summer heat and humidity may be a challenge, but a midseason cutback of leaves will frequently renew the plant. Give G. pratense a mulch around its roots if you live where summers are very hot.

As a general rule of thumb, geraniums do best in morning sun and afternoon although some geraniums such as G. sanguineum (zones 5 to 9) and G. pratense thrive in full sun.

Propagate species types by seed, but any named varieties, such as 'Johnson's Blue', must be propagated by division of the crowns or by root cuttings. Do either in early spring.

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