How to grow & care for geraniums
Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) are hardy, sun-loving plants with brightly coloured flowers throughout spring and summer. Many geraniums have scented flowers or foliage too.
Geraniums love a full sun position in a well-drained soil. If your soil is a heavy clay or prone to waterlogging consider growing geraniums on mounds or in pots to improve drainage.
Geraniums will happily grow in most Australian climates, except those with extreme frosts.
Top 5 steps to growing geraniums
- Choose a full sun spot, with a free draining soil or grow in pots
- Geraniums are considered drought tolerant once established, but they’ll still appreciate a good watering in times of extreme heat.
- Cut geraniums back by one third at the end of summer or early autumn to encourage new growth and flower buds for the following season.
- Fertilise with Scotts Osmocote All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser or Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: Potted Plants in spring and again in summer.
- Cut off dead flowers to encourage a bushy plant and more blooms
- A geranium plant
- Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver
- Scotts Osmocote Plus Organics All Purpose (including Natives) Plant Food & Soil Improver
- Garden shovel
- Defender Snail & Slug Pellets
- If growing in pots, you’ll need: Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix + Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: Potted Plants and a suitable pot or container
Preparation & Planting in the garden
Geraniums prefer a full sun spot in a well drained soil, that’s been enriched with compost.
Prepare the site for planting geraniums by mixing a little Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver and Scotts Osmocote Plus Organics All Purpose (including Natives) Plant Food & Soil Improver through the original soil - use a garden shovel to turn it through the top 10cm.
Dig the hole twice as wide as the original nursery pot and the same depth. Gently remove the geranium from the nursery pot and tease the roots lightly if they are compact.
Plant your geranium into the prepared hole at the recommended spacing and back fill around the rootball. Water in well and mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Planting in pots
Geraniums can be grown in medium to large pots or planters (at least 30-40cm wide and deep) with good drainage.
Fill your pot or planter with Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix. Gently remove the geranium from the nursery pot and tease the roots lightly if they are compact. If you’re planting multiple geraniums in the pot, follow the spacing recommendations on the label - plant into the potting mix and back fill around the plants rootball. Water in well and top the soil with mulch to retain moisture.
Fertilising & Care
Geraniums will benefit from Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver and Scotts Osmocote Plus Organics All Purpose (including Natives) Plant Food & Soil Improver mixed through the soil before planting and a dose of fertiliser in spring and summer.
Fertilise using Scotts Osmocote Plus Organics All Purpose (including Natives) Plant Food & Soil Improver for in-ground geraniums or for potted geraniums use Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: Potted Plants.
Deadhead geraniums during their flowering period to encourage bushy plants and more flowers. At the end of summer or early autumn cut back geranium plants by a third to encourage bushy new growth and flower buds the following season.
Although geraniums are sun hardy and pretty tough once established, they still need regular watering. Just allow the soil around them to dry out between waterings as they don’t like constantly wet or soggy soil.
Pests & Diseases
Avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of geranium rust - this is a fungal disease that is more likely to occur if the foliage is continually wet.
Slugs and Snails can cause significant damage to young geranium seedlings or plants. Protect young plants by setting beer traps (saucers filled with beer) or use Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.