Using Geraniums

Zonal geraniums are wonderful as bedding plants, tucked among perennials in borders, or punctuating areas of the yard such as paths, steps, light posts, or ponds. Some types of geraniums can be espalied, trained into trees or to a trellis.

Geraniums of all types thrive in containers. They winter over indoors in pots on sunny windowsills. They do well in greenhouses, blooming best if slightly pot-bound.

Hybrids of ivy geraniums called floribundas and cascades were purposely bred for container growing which requires greater heat and sun tolerance. They are ideal for hanging baskets, windowboxes, or as patio and balcony specimens. Because they are low growing and have somewhat smaller flower heads, floribundas make good groundcovers too.

Zonal geranium blossoms make a colorful addition to arrangements of cut flowers. To keep them fresh longer, pick early in the day. Choose blossoms that are not fully out. Make a 1 or 2 inch slit in the bottom of the flower stems, then immerse the stems in cool water. Let them stand a few hours in a cool place. Arrange them in a container with fresh lukewarm water with floral preservative or an equal amount of a non-diet citrus carbonated soda to prolong flower freshness. The flowers of other types of geraniums do not last very long in bouquets. For more information see the files on Keeping Cut Flowers and Cut Flower Supplies

see all questions...

Do you have a gardening question? Ask Nancy