How to Grow Martha Washington Geraniums
Martha Washington geraniums have large clusters of flowers in vivid colors like purple, red and orange and some varieties have white blooms. They're not heat tolerant, so they don't bloom well in hot climates unless they're kept in partial shade. Because of this, they're often grown indoors as houseplants. Outdoors, they can be planted in the garden or as container plants. Care instructions are the same as for other geraniums.
Plant geraniums in full sun unless you live in an area where summer temperatures frequently rise above 90 degrees F. Plant geraniums in partial sun in areas with hot summers.
Add compost to the soil to give the geraniums a rich growing medium. If you are planting in containers, use commercially available potting soil rather than garden soil. Plant geraniums in the garden or container at the same height as they were in the pot you purchased them in.
- Martha Washington geraniums have large clusters of flowers in vivid colors like purple, red and orange and some varieties have white blooms.
- Add compost to the soil to give the geraniums a rich growing medium.
Water Martha Washington geraniums when the soil is dry. Soak the flower bed or container soil and then don't water again until the soil is dry 2 inches below the surface. Don't let container plants sit in a puddle of water. Make sure the plant has good drainage.
Fertilize geraniums at least once a month. Every two weeks is ideal. Use 20-20-20 or 15-30-15 fertilizer and follow the package directions.
- Water Martha Washington geraniums when the soil is dry.
- Make sure the plant has good drainage.
Pinch off dead leaves and use garden shears to cut off dead flowers. Don't drop the dead foliage on the ground near the geranium as it may be diseased.
Care Of Martha Washington Geraniums
With their colorful blooms and showy foliage, Martha Washington geraniums (Pelargonium domesticum) are a garden favorite. If they receive less than that, the plants tend to get leggy and may not bloom profusely. Martha Washington geraniums grow in a wide range of soil types but do best in rich, well-drained soil. Choose a pot that is at least 8 inches in diameter and has drainage holes in the bottom or sides. To avoid leaving your geranium in standing water, use a pot without a drainage tray. Fertilizer with too much nitrogen will encourage leaf growth rather than flower production, so check the numbers on the label. A more reliable winter option is to take cuttings from your plants in the fall and plant the cuttings in rooting mix. The cuttings can then be raised indoors until spring.
- Pinch off dead leaves and use garden shears to cut off dead flowers.
- A more reliable winter option is to take cuttings from your plants in the fall and plant the cuttings in rooting mix.
Geraniums are usually propagated through stem cuttings.
- Geranium Q&A from North Dakota State University
- Gardener's Notes for Martha Washington Geranium
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Pelargonium × domesticum
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Growing Geraniums Indoors
- San Diego Geranium Society: Caring for Your Geraniums
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Growing Annual Geraniums
- Geraniums are usually propagated through stem cuttings.
Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.