How to Care for Potted Geraniums
Potted geraniums can be spotted in just about every neighborhood in the spring. These flowers will bloom all season long and longer if you take them indoors. They are a favorite hanging, potting and garden flower of gardeners for their ease of care and continual bloom. Found in reds, white, pink and purple, they make a great houseplant and flower garden border. Even those who don’t have a green thumb can grow potted geraniums and have a porch or deck that looks like a professional landscaper planned it.
Prepare the containers by mixing 1 part compost, 1 part peat moss and 1 part vermiculite together and filling the container to an inch from the top. Geraniums need well-draining soil, and the compost will also give it some nutrition to help the roots acclimate to the new soil.
Plant the geranium in the container at the same level it was in the container you purchased it in. If you purchased a hanging container where the plant will stay, add some compost to the soil before hanging it.
Water the plant thoroughly, and if the container has a drip tray, take it off 10 minutes after watering to allow the water to drain through the soil properly. Although the geranium likes water, it does not like to sit in wet soil, and this may cause root rot. For this reason do not allow outdoor potted geraniums to have a drip tray during a rain shower.
Place the container in a location that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day. If you don't have a location like this, then move the container from one area of sun to another during the day. If you have the container indoors and do not have enough sun, use a florescent light for about 4 hours at night to give the plant proper light.
Fertilize the plants with a light application of general purpose flower fertilizer once a month. If you are experiencing a lot of rain, you may need to fertilize a little more often.
Pinch off dead flowers to encourage new blooms. Remove any diseased or dead stems or flowers immediately, and discard away from the plant. Inspect the plants each day for any type of bugs, and remove them from the plants.
Bring the containers indoors for the winter, and place on a sunny porch or in a window. The plants can be cut back to about 6 inches tall if they start to look straggly.