Overview of Geranium
Approximately 422 species of geranium exist. Some of these flowering plants are perennial plants, while others are annual plants and biennial plants. You can find geraniums in tropical locations which have mountainous areas. They’re used as garden flowers because of their colorful beauty and fragrance. They have circular cleft leaves and five petals which are either blue, purple, pink, or white. You can easily identify geraniums because of the veining in the flower petals.
You can plant geraniums outside in your garden or inside your home in a container. Geraniums are outdoor plants, but you’ll need to bring them indoors during the winter if you don’t live in a temperate region of the world. The important thing is to keep exposing these plants to light when they’re indoors. If sunlight exposure is not possible indoors, then use a UV lamp as a light source alternative for your plants.
The best time to start planting the geraniums is when the soil temperature outside has gotten to about 60°F. You’ll want to wait until the frost dangers are no longer present. When you plant the geraniums, use loose soil mixed with organic matter, such as perlite, peat, or compost. Do not use vermiculite or manure as a fertilizer for the soil. Only a slight amount of fertilizer is needed. Overfeeding the plants can result in excess foliage.
About 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day is recommended for the geraniums. Ideally, you should expose sunlight to the plant in the morning and then shade the plant in the afternoon. If it’s a cool night, then it is okay to leave the geraniums out there because it’ll stimulate the budding process. Otherwise, keep the temperature at around 65°F to 70°F if indoors.
Maintain up to 10 to 12 inches of space between your geranium plants. If you’re transplanting the geraniums from a pot to ground soil, keep the same depth in the ground as you had in the pot. Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and avoid drying out. After you water the plant, let the soil dry out before watering it again. There must be good drainage in the soil or pots that you’re using. You can do less watering in the wintertime when it gets colder.
Additional Maintenance Tips
Outdoor geraniums won’t need to be pruned so much. But if you notice any dead flower heads, then you must remove them to promote further blooming and stop diseases from spreading. Dry leaves can be removed from the plants as well. As for indoor geraniums, they’ll develop long thin legs which will often need trimming. It is not a difficult task to do if the plant is observed and maintained regularly.
When it comes to pests, you don’t have much to worry about. Your common garden insects and bugs do not like geraniums. However, you should still worry about fungal damage happening in cooler and wetter environments. That is why you must be careful about overwatering your plants. Not only can this stimulate fungus problems, but it can cause root rot and edema. Again, wait for the soil to dry before deep watering it again. For outdoor geraniums, deep watering will likely be required at least once per week.
Don’t keep the geraniums in the same pot. You can re-pot the geraniums for the next growing season after they’ve overgrown in the original pot. Deadheading the dead flower heads is even more crucial before transplanting the flower between pots. This is the only way to encourage blooming after it gets planted in the new pot.
Geraniums are popularly used as a form of aromatherapy, thanks to their distinct and medicinal fragrance. It is said that geraniums can treat a wide range of health issues, such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. You can make geranium essential oil if you want to grow the plant for harvesting purposes. The oil version can serve as a topical treatment for light burns, acne, and other minor skin issues. It can even be used orally to treat sore throats, but only use a few drops in your mouth. Make sure you mix the oil with a carrier oil, such as avocado or almond oil.