Geraniums can grow up to 3 feet tall and are one of the most reliable plants in the garden. They withstand heavy rain and wind and will stay alive from early spring to fall or winter frost. They are most often grown as annuals and are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10 where the temperature does not drop below 20 degrees F. Knowledge of how to create the right environment for this plant will keep it healthy and thriving throughout the growing season.
Purchase a geranium plant right after the danger of frost passes or propagate a plant by rooting a cutting a month before that point. To do the latter, take a 3- to 4-inch stem cutting, strip the leaves from the bottom one-third and stick it in a small pot with half peat and half perlite. Keep it moist as it begins to take root and grow.
Choose a site to plant the geranium with full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Geranium plants will grow in almost any type of soil as long as it is porous and well-drained. In hot regions, light shade will protect the plant from sun scorch.
Prepare the site for the geranium. Dig 6 to 12 inches into the ground with a spade or trowel, breaking up clumps of soil and taking out any rocks you may find. Mix in 1 inch of organic compost. If you have clay soil, you will need to mix in a generous amount of organic compost every year to increase drainage ability.
Dig a hole for the geranium plant that is twice the width of the root ball and at a depth that is the same height as the root ball. Place the geranium plant in the hole and backfill the soil around the roots. Tamp the soil down to increase the stability of the pant.
Water deeply to settle the soil around the roots. Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the plants to keep down weeds and regulate moisture.