How to grow geraniums

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Real Living magazine
Geraniums (Thinkstock)

For a touch of the Mediterranean or a splash of colour, geraniums are hard to beat. Easy to grow, and relishing in the sunshine, they’ll flower from spring to autumn with flush after flush of blooms.

The flower colours range from the typical vivid red through to pale pinks, regal purple and white, and leaves can be attractively marked with gold, white, cream and rusty reds. Many have highly scented leaves that smell of rose, peppermint, lemon or lime, and can be used to flavour food, add spice to potpourri or repel insects.

Growing conditions

The perfect place for geraniums is an open, bright and airy spot with good drainage. This means pots on a sun-baked balcony are ideal. The ivy or trailing types make fabulous basket plants or can be used as a groundcover on sunny embankments. Avoid frosty areas, or, if you do happen to live in a cold climate, take cuttings and replace your stocks each spring after the frosts have finished.

Care instructions

Pinch back your plants and feed them with liquid feed regularly for masses of blooms and repeated flowering. This will encourage your plants to be thicker and healthier. Avoid watering the foliage as splashing can spread fungal spots, and pick off any affected leaves as they appear to keep problems such as rust at bay.

Did you know? Geraniums are the common name for a group of plants known botanically as pelagoniums. This is an important distinction as there are also "true" geraniums, which although botacnically called geranium they are commonly referred to as cranesbills!

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