How to Keep Geraniums Blooming

Overview

Geraniums are flowering plants of the genus Pelargonium, which includes wild flowers, scented geraniums, and several species grown for their bright ornamental flowers, including zonal geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum), Martha Washington geraniums (Pelargonium x domesticum) and Ivy-leaved geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum). Martha Washington geraniums bloom indoors for just a few winter months, while ivy-leaved geraniums are difficult to get to bloom other than outside during the summer. Common zonal geraniums can be kept blooming year round with proper indoor care.

Step 1

Mix 5 parts potting soil with 1 part well-aged compost. Dampen the mixture thoroughly with rain water. Fill the pot to within 2 inches of the top. Scoop out a hole sufficient to hold geranium plant dug from the garden and place the plant in the hole or stick leaf cuttings into the soil surface.

Step 2

Fill the saucer half-way with pebbles. Place the pot on the saucer. Water the geranium until water reaches the top of the pebbles.

Step 3

Place the geranium pot in a location that will receive full sun at least eight hours per day but does not exceed 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid setting the plants on or over radiators. Place the plant under artificial florescent tube lights, leaving the lights on for 18-20 hours per day if you do not have an appropriate sunny location.

Step 4

Allow the geranium to dry out between waterings. Add 3 teaspoons of well-aged compost to the geranium pot every month, using a spoon to turn the compost lightly into the top of the soil.

Step 5

Pinch blossoms off at the base of their stems as soon as they begin fading. Pinch plant stems back to their bottom leaf if they look leggy to encourage branching and additional blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Zonal geranium plant dug from garden, or leaf cuttings for rooting
  • Pot and saucer
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Pebbles
  • Rainwater
  • Window with full sun, or two-tube florescent fixture with 1 warm and 1 cool bulb
  • Teaspoon

References

  • Growing Geraniums Indoors, Clemson University Extension
  • Geranium Culture for Home Gardeners, N. Carolina Cooperative Extension
  • Outdoor-Indoor Geranium Culture, U. Minnesota Extension

Who Can Help

  • Growing and Overwintering Garden Geraniums, Iowa State U. Extension
Keywords: geranium flowers, geranium plants, grow geraniums

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.