Geraniums are perennial flowering plants native to South Africa, although they are typically grown as annuals in the United States. Geranium plants are widely grown in garden beds and containers, and will perform well on porches, decks and patios with the proper care. Easy to grow and requiring only minimal maintenance, geraniums can be enjoyed by beginning and experienced gardeners alike. Each geranium plant will produce blooms from late spring through midsummer and a myriad of different colors and leaf variations are available.
Plant geraniums after the last spring frost. Choose a planting location with well-drained soil that receives at least 6 hours of full sun each day with afternoon shade during the hottest part of summer. Space geranium plants 8 to 12 inches apart in garden beds, or plant in containers filled with high-quality potting soil.
Water geranium plants about once per week, or any time the top 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid splashing water onto the foliage, as this can cause fungal infections. Use a water wand or soaker hose to provide moisture to the soil surrounding geraniums as needed.
Feed geranium plants once every 2 weeks using a water-soluble liquid fertilizer. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for proper application and dosage. Water the soil thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer to distribute the nutrients and prevent root injury.
Prune leggy geraniums by cutting them back several inches with pruning shears when necessary. Plants may stop blooming in the heat of summer, but can be coaxed into producing more flowers by cutting back slightly. Remove yellow, diseased or damaged leaves as soon as possible.
Remove spent flowers from geranium plants to encourage blooming throughout summer, improve appearance, prevent self-seeding and reduce the chances of fungal diseases. Pinch the flowers off with your fingers as soon as they begin to fade for the best results.