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How to Care for Geraniums in Hanging Baskets

red flower image by April K from

Geraniums are popular flowering plants specially suited for container gardening such as hanging baskets. With long leaves trailing to the sides of the basket for several feet, the flower heads' natural shades of lavender, white, salmon, pink and red dress up a particular spot at varying eye levels and add a burst of color. With a little effort, care for your geraniums so they thrive not just this season, but past the dormancy phase into the next season as well.

Mix equal amounts of good quality potting soil with perlite in the hanging basket and plant the geraniums into it. Such porous, lightweight soil drains well and provides air to the roots.

Hang your basket containing geraniums in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.

Poke your finger in the potting soil up to a depth of 2 inches. Water the geraniums if your finger comes out dry. Flowers in hanging baskets tend to dry out sooner than those planted in the soil, so check frequently.

Follow manufacturer's directions to fertilize your geraniums with a slow-release fertilizer in the beginning of spring, or a water-soluble fertilizer every alternate week. This provides the plants the necessary nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Pinch off old, diseased or dying flower heads regularly so the plant's energy is spent on developing new flower heads. Remove any dry or dying leaves. Not only is a neat and tidy hanging basket aesthetically pleasing, it is also important for the health of the geranium plant.

Trim your hanging geranium plant down to 3 or 4 inches before the first frost. Bring it indoors to a room where temperature does not fall below freezing. Water your geraniums every week during the winter months, until the soil is evenly moist. Fertilize and hang back outside once the danger of the last frost has passed.


Always water geraniums in the morning. Late evening or night watering leaves the foliage wet, thus making the plant susceptible to disease.

Make sure the hanging basket has adequate drainage holes, or drill them if necessary.

Do not hang the baskets with geraniums in a spot that is exposed to strong winds. Avoid hanging your geraniums indoors for long periods of time, as the leaves start to turn yellow. Always make sure they get six to eight hours of sunlight a day.

Apply commercial insecticide if you notice problem with pests such as spider mites or mealy bugs that lays masses of eggs on the leaves.

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