Growing Geranium plants
Geraniums are commonly known as cranesbills, due to the shape of the interesting seed heads resembling that of a crane's beak. They provide excellent ground cover, forming mounds of attractive leaves and a large quantity of geranium flowers which keep on giving throughout the summer.
They require a free draining soil and sun or partial shade, but apart from this these border staples are undemanding and will quickly develop into mature looking additions to your outdoor space. Regular dead heading will ensure the best continuity of blooms and offer a full time feast for your pollinators.
Of course, many people think of geraniums as the brightly coloured seaside bedding plants in reds and whites, but these are actually pelargoniums - plants which need winter protection, but are also well worth growing.
Back to our true hardy geraniums and these look perfect as part of a cottage garden scheme. Plant near the front of borders as they are reasonably low growing and as they fill out they will create a soft curvaceous flow to your design. They are mostly available in pastel shades. 'Rozanne' being undoubtedly the best known variety in beautiful blue. It holds an RHS 'AGM' (Award of Garden Merit) and was also declared 'RHS Chlesea Plant of the Centenary' in the flower show's 100th anniversary year. If pink is more your passion, or you are keen to introduce a mix of pastels, 'Bloomtime' is another popular option.
Geraniums make perfect border partners of many herbaceous plants. Good companions might include peonies, delphiniums and lavender, but really, there are few plants these won't horticulturally harmonise with.
Where to grow Geranium plants?
Geranium plants prefer a sandy, loam soil, but any well-drained soil will support them well. They like full sun, but will tolerate light shade, so do find them a bright spot in your garden. Depending on the variety, geraniums are suitable for almost anywhere, be that in beds, pots, hanging baskets or window boxes.
How to grow Geranium plants?
Take care to not over-water your geranium plants – they prefer to be kept on the dry side, and too much water can kill them. Feed every two to three weeks, and deadhead regularly so that you prolong the flowering season. If you have favourite plants, you can keep these for the following year in a frost-free location over winter.
When to plant geraniums outside?
Make sure the last frost has passed before planting outside. Geraniums are sensitive to cold. In a very mild spring, you may be able to plant out in March or April, though many wait until May.
How far apart to plant geraniums
Plant out your geraniums about eight to twelve inches apart, and they’ll have plenty of space to grow without competing. Plant them to the same depth as their original pot in well-drained soil.