How do I get the best from my geraniums?

Are you growing bedding geraniums this season? These amazing plants will flower all through the summer with a few simple tricks and care tips

The fabulous flower heads of Geranium 'Cabaret'

Garden geraniums are the perfect choice for vibrant colourful garden displays, especially for baskets, pots and containers. Choose some well-bred varieties and your plants will flower their socks off all summer long, giving amazing value for your hard earned money.

Highly bred

Modern geraniums have been carefully bred to bring the very best characteristics to your garden. Each plant will flower prolifically all summer long, producing flower heads packed with fabulous buds that burst to reveal soft, silky petalled flowers that will last for several days. The plants are well branched and have been selected to have foliage that complements the flower colours. The flowers are held above the foliage so that you can see them from most angles. These days the flowers are more weather resistant than ever before.

Great garden geraniums to grow

There are hundreds of different varieties of geraniums to choose from and before ling you will be hooked to these summer favourites. If you are new to growing geraniums then get expert advice or buy from a trusted supplier. Special collections and offers are carefully chosen to ensure that the plants perform and you get great results. Look out for Geranium ‘Cabaret’ it’s a classic mix of geraniums that flower earlier than many other varieties, and many of the strains have attractive leaves with deeper, zoned markings. The bright and richly coloured flower heads are large with many individual blooms. The plants are compact and bushy so they are an outstanding choice for window boxes, baskets and containers and can also be planted in the garden for mass colour and effect.

Buying geranium plants

Buy your plants from a reputable source. You can choose single coloured geraniums to colour theme your summer displays or for great value choose a mixed pack. Mixed collections usually include a generous range of flower colours for your summer pots and containers. You can plant several different colours into one window box or pot them up and let them flower and then colour co-ordinate your plantings. Mix geraniums with other summer annuals and bedding for great results but remember that these sun-loving beauties can require different growing conditions to other plants.

How to grow geraniums

Early in the season you can get great value for money by buying plug plants to fill your garden pots and containers. Many basket and container plants are tender and cannot be planted out into the garden until all risk of frost has passed. By buying plug plants, someone else has done the hard work and raised the plants for you to grow, but they will need some TLC before you can put them outside. Small plug plants need potting up into larger pots with quality compost rich in nutrients to give them a good start. Garden ready plants can be planted into your final containers and baskets and allowed to grow on in a frost-free place until after the last frost. Planting up your baskets in advance is a great way to get an early display, but they need plenty of light and a little warmth to grow and mature.

But the most important thing to remember if you want to get the very best from your geraniums is to feed your plants with a high potash plant food. Richard Jackson’s Flower Power contains everything your plants need to grow and flourish.

Plant Geranium ‘Cabaret’ in pots for great effect. The zonal foliage looks amazing with the flowers

It’s all in the name

Don’t get confused by the name, it might be useful to remember that the bedding geraniums that we all love to grow are correctly and botanically called pelargoniums. The true garden geraniums, often called cranesbills, are hardy perennials and are better grown in the garden border. They don’t look like bedding geraniums at all because they are not even closely related.

While we still generally call pelargoniums geraniums, there is also a wide range of different types of pelargoniums that we also called pelargoniums. There is nothing wrong in calling bedding geraniums, geraniums, but just remember that they are correctly classified as pelargoniums.

 

 

 

 

Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
@TheGreenJeanie
View all posts by Jean.