How Much and When to Water Geraniums

Well-known in huge pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes, geraniums are a perennial preferred that can survive the wintertime as an evergreen in zones nine-10. They’re grown as indoor houseplants for the duration of the winter season in cooler zones or handled as annuals. At first from South Africa, geraniums are much more tolerant of drought than over-watering, and must only be watered when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Above-watering your geranium tends to make it inclined to root rot and discolored leaves. Read through on to see how to welcome this vivid bloomer into your yard for the summer.

All About Geraniums

geranium flower close up
Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay
Common Name Geranium
Scientific Name Pelargonium spp.
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Zone Grown as a perennial in zones 9-10, or as an annual or winter houseplant in Zones 3-8

It’s crucial to notice that what we frequently consider of as a geranium is in fact a Pelargonium. The confusion arrived from traders who discovered the Pelargonium plant in South Africa in the 1600s and brought the plant back to Europe, contacting it a geranium. A correct geranium is a chilly hardy plant, dying back again in the winter but returning in the spring.

Whilst they could be a rather summer season addition to your backyard garden, you ought to know that Pelargoniums are toxic to canines and cats. This is specifically critical to know if you are considering treating your geranium as a houseplant during the wintertime simply because you’ll require to set it someplace your animals can’t accessibility.

When to Water Geranium

gardener watering geranium plants
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Water is an essential component to lifestyle, but your geranium will not recognize getting a lot more than it demands. You must only h2o your geranium once or twice a 7 days, or when the best two inches of the soil is dry. It’s alright to h2o your geranium far more regularly if the soil is drying out, this kind of as from a late summer drought. There is no set quantity as to how much h2o to give geraniums. It is typically recommended to just h2o them “deeply”.

How To Care for Your Geranium

purple geranium
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Caring for your geranium is pretty straightforward. Spot your new plant in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight every single working day. You may possibly want to think about planting your geranium in a cellular pot if you’re preparing on transferring it indoors for the wintertime. Where ever you decide on, make certain it has nicely-draining soil because your geranium is in danger of root rot if it is exposed to also significantly moisture.

For the greatest blooms, fertilize every two weeks during the expanding period from spring to early slide. Be mindful not to more than-fertilize or you might get a bushy plant with thick, inexperienced leaves but number of bouquets. You also should not fertilize your geranium in wintertime if you are managing it as an indoor houseplant. Enable it lie dormant for a number of months in a sunny room, and water from time to time when the soil is dry. In February, pinch off the dead leaves. Go the plant again outdoors yet again as quickly as the risk of the final frost is finished and proceed fertilizing. You need to have blooms by the stop of May.

How to Propagate Geraniums

woman planting geranium plant
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Even if you stay in zones 9-ten or deal with your geranium as a welcome house visitor for the duration of the winter months, geraniums really do not have really long lifespans. They generally bloom for about two years, and soon after that they may well die or only increase greenery. If your plant starts off to present signs of slowing down, you might want to take into account propagating your geranium to have continuous bouquets. To do this, choose a stem with at least two leaves and make a slicing four inches under the top of the stem. Spot the reducing in water in a sunny location and wait around for roots to grow. You’ll normally have new roots that you can plant inside a couple weeks. Previous jars and soda bottles perform well for this undertaking if you really don't have anything you previously use for expanding the roots.

You could also propagate your geranium by dipping the slicing in rooting hormone and then sticking it into a pot of ½ sand and ½ peat moss. Drinking water totally, wrap plastic above the prime of the pot to create a greenhouse impact, and then repot your new plant in standard soil in about three months, when the new development begins to show up.

If you’re starting a new geranium from seed, plant the seeds in trays indoors about 10 weeks just before your previous anticipated frost day. Preserve watered and then transfer exterior when all the hazard of frost has handed.


Geraniums are easy to treatment for, as extended as you live in a warm local climate that gets a lot of sunshine. Your plant will prosper as an evergreen perennial in zones 9-ten, but if you stay everywhere cooler than that you’ll want to carry it within for the wintertime or plan on buying new plants following calendar year. Pelargoniums are deemed tender perennials that only stay for a pair years, so be confident to propagate your aged plant to make certain you have clean blooms for each and every increasing season.

Highlighted Image Credit history: Dina Mukhutdinova, Shutterstock