How to grow and care for Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) Indoors

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Geranium Plant Care, Pelargonium x hortorum care

Botanical name: Pelargonium x hortorum
Family: Geraniaceae

Geranium Plant Description

Geraniums are popular houseplants due to their ease of care, large colourful blooms and a long flowering period; will bloom almost all year-round if kept on a sunny window at average room temperature.

Geranium Plant Size

The Geraniums grow to a height of 1-2 ft but some can reach 4 ft or more.

Geranium Plant Flower

Some Geraniums have small insignificant flowers and are grown for their colourful foliage but majority bear large flowers which may be single, semi-double or double.

The common flower colours in Pelargonium x hortorum are white, red, pink, orange and purple. The whole plant except the flowers gives off a characteristic smell.

Numerous varieties of Pelargonium x hortorum for growing indoors are available.

Geranium Plant Origin

The Pelargonium x hortorum is a hybrid between Pelargonium zonale and Pelargonium inquinans.

Pelargonium x hortorum belongs to the group of Pelargoniums called Zonal (or common) Pelargonium. This refers to the brown annular zone around the leaves. The parent plants are native to South Africa.

Geranium Plants for Sale

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Geranium Plant Care, Pelargonium x hortorum care

Photo Credit: Gardenia.net

Geranium Plant (Pelargonium x hortorum) care Indoors

Geranium Plant Light requirements

Geranium Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. Your Geranium Plant will not bloom if the light is not enough. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Geranium Plant

Keep the soil moist at all times for your Geranium Plant and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Geranium Plant during the cold period as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Avoid soggy soil for your Geranium Plant as it can lead to root-rot disease.


Temperature for Geranium Plant

The best temperature for growing Geranium Plant indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 130C. The cool nights and warm days are necessary to trigger flower buds.

Protect your Geranium Plant from cold and hot draughts. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Geranium Plant

Average room humidity is ideal for Geranium Plant. Where the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Geranium.

Do not mist the leaves of your Geranium Plant as it can lead to fungal diseases. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Geranium Plant

Feed Geranium Plant with a potassium-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing season to enhance flowering.

Withhold feeding for your Geranium Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and it can lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Geranium Plant

Repot Geranium Plant during the growing season only when the plant is extremely pot-bound as it blooms more when pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower.

Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole for your Geranium to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to Root-rot Disease.

The best soil for your Geranium should be rich in organic matter and also free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

How to Prune Geranium Plant

Pruning Geranium Plant is easy. Remove dead flowers and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

Pinch off the growing tips of your Geranium to encourage compact growth and prevent the plant from getting unruly.

After flowering, lightly cut back the stems of your Geranium to rejuvenate growth and keep the plant compact. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Geranium Plant (Pelargonium x hortorum) Propagation

Geranium propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings or by seeds.

How to propagate Geranium Plant from stem cuttings

Take a 4-6 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Geranium plant. Strip of the lower leaves.

Insert the Geranium cuttings in moist free-draining soil. Ensure the rooting container has proper drainage to prevent the soil from becoming soggy.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot and maintain the soil moist through out until the new Geraniums plants are well established.

How to propagate Geranium Plant from seeds

Spread Geranium seeds evenly on moist free-draining soil and cover lightly with some soil.

Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect.

Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface until the Geranium seedlings are well established.

When the Geranium seedlings are a reasonable size, transplant them into individual pots.

Place the pots in a cool well-lit spot and maintain the soil moist until the new Geranium plants are well established.

Geranium Plant Care, Pelargonium x hortorum care

Photo Credit: thessfyta.gr

Geranium Plant (Pelargonium x hortorum) Problems Indoors

Why are the lower leaves of my Geranium yellowing, firm and scorched?

The cause of yellow, firm and scorched lower leaves in your Geranium is underwatering.

Water your Geranium thoroughly during the growing period and allow the soil to dry out between waterings and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Why are the lower leaves of my Geranium yellowing, wilted and rotten?

Overwatering is the cause of yellow, wilted and rotten lower leaves in your Geranium.

Maintain the soil moist but not soggy. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

Why does my Geranium have spindly growth and leaf drop?

Spindly growth and leaf drop in your Geranium is due to too little light; your plant is not getting adequate light.

Move your Geranium to a brighter spot. Geranium grows best under bright light but away from direct sunlight.

Why are the leaf edges on my Geranium reddening?

Very low temperature is the cause of reddening leaf edges in your Geranium.

Move your Geranium to a warmer spot and protect it from cold draughts.

Why is my Geranium blackening at the base of the stem?

The cause of blackening of the stem base in your Geranium is Black Leg Disease which is enhanced by soggy soil.

Stop overwatering your Geranium and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.

Why does my Geranium have water-soaked, corky patches on the leaves?

Water-soaked, corky patches on the leaves of your Geranium are an indication of Oedema Disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

Stop overwatering your Geranium and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.

Why does my Geranium have grey mold on the leaves?

Grey mold on the leaves of your Geranium are a sign of Botrytis Disease which is associated with soggy soil.

Stop overwatering your Geranium and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil.

Geranium Plant pests

Geranium pests include Whiteflies, Vine Weevil and Aphids.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat the pests appropriately.

Is Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) toxic?

Geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) plants are non-toxic to humans and pets. They are known to be used in teas and cakes.

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