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How to Get Geraniums to Bloom

Geraniums are cheerfully blooming plants of the family Pelargonium, and range from sweet tiny pink-flowering wild species to the common round-leaf scarlet blossomed houseplant variety. Zonal geraniums can be massed as warm-season bedding plants or grown in windowsill pots. Ivy geraniums have glossier leaves and trail from window boxes, while scented geraniums perfume your home in a living potpourri. Get your geraniums to bloom and keep them blooming with the right soil, light, temperature and watering schedule.

Locate your geraniums, whether in pots or garden beds, in a spot with light suitable for that geranium variety: Zonal geraniums must have full sun at least six hours per day to bloom, while other geranium varieties can tolerate slightly more shade. Keep potted geraniums by a sunny south-facing window or supplement natural light with a few hours under grow lights each day.

Plant outdoor geraniums densely, and let potted geraniums become root bound to encourage blooming.

Water outdoor geraniums once a week and potted geraniums twice a week. Use rainwater to avoid salt build up in the soil. Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Add water-soluble fertilizer to your watering routine once a month, but do not over fertilize.

Monitor the temperature near your geraniums. Adjust temperatures for zonal geraniums grown indoors to 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 F at night. Keep the growing area a few degrees cooler for ivy or scented geraniums.

Promptly pinch off any dying blossoms at the base of the flower stem. Pinch back new growth tips regularly to encourage branching and new growth.


Geraniums will flower all year but are less prolific in winter.

Younger geranium plants flower more profusely, so start new growth from leaf cuttings regularly and discard older plants as their blooming slows.

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