Geranium: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Geraniums Indoors

Thinking of the perfect way to brighten up your indoor space? While the possibilities are endless, one of the best things to do is to add flowering plants. Among others, geraniums are some of the best. They are not only colorful and fragrant, but they are also easy to grow. Any novice gardener will not have too much of a problem in making sure that it survives indoors.

With more than 422 species, this flower is common in regions with temperate climates. They are common in many parts of the world, but mostly in the Mediterranean, specifically in the eastern region. The color of its flower may vary, but in most cases, it will be blue, purple, pink, or white. The flower has five petals while the leaves are long and circular. In most instances, geranium will have an average height of six inches to three feet and width of up to two feet. With this, indoors, you might need a big space, although this will depend on the variety that you will choose.

When planting geraniums indoors, it is important to be familiar with the different varieties that are available. There are some species, which will require full sun, which is why they are not good for indoor gardens. Keep an eye on those that require only partial sun or shade, such as Geranium maculatum, which has bright-pink flowers. Another great variety is Geranium subcaulescens, an evergreen perennial with beautiful magenta flowers.

Blue Geraniums

Blue Geraniums Flowers under the Summer Sunlight

Planting and Growing Conditions

The best way to grow geranium is through a healthy plant and not propagating by seeds. You can purchase one from a local nursery, or if you already have geranium outdoors, you can take it out and re-pot the plant, especially during the winter. This will protect it from frost and extreme cold, allowing it to survive through the season.

As you transfer geranium, make sure to pick the right pot. For most geranium varieties, a pot with a diameter of 10 inches will be enough. For the smaller ones, 6-inch pots will suffice. Consider the size of the plant to pick the right pot. Also, make sure that there are holes at the bottom, which will provide drainage and prevent the possibility of root rot.

Fill the pot with soil and place the geranium plant. Cover the roots with soil and press firmly from the top. If in case you opt to plant seeds, on the other hand, scatter the seeds on the surface, but make sure that they are at least an inch apart from each other. This will provide them with the air to breathe. Cover the seed with a light layer of soil and wait until it grows.

When it comes to growing conditions, one of the most important is light. In the case of most varieties, they will require direct sunlight. With this, if you are growing them indoors, place the pot by the window where the sun can reach it. They will need up to six hours of sunlight in a day. If the light is not enough, there will be lots of leaves and flowers will most probably not grow.

It is also important to water the geranium regularly, but do not overdo it. See to it that the soil is dry before watering. If it is still moist, there is no need for water. It is also important to note that geraniums will be able to tolerate drought.

Lastly, for the soil, you need to choose one that drains well. Adding perlite and peat will help for aeration, maximizing the ability of the soil to absorb the nutrients that are essential for the growth of the plant.

Planting Geraniums

Grow Geranium Through a Healthy Plant and Not Propagating by Seeds

Pests and Diseases

Like in the case of other indoor flowers, geranium is not free from problems. Some of the most common diseases that can be apparent include leaf spot, bacterial blight, botrytis blight, and verticillium wilt. Meanwhile, some of the most common pests that can cause an infestation in geraniums include spider mites, caterpillars, aphids, weevils, and whiteflies.

Care and Maintenance

Growing geraniums indoors does not need to be difficult. To yield the highest level of success, below are some of the tips that you have to keep in mind:

  • Occasionally trim the plant and remove dead heads or decaying blooms. If you notice that the flower is already wilting, take it out. The longer it stays on the plant, the higher is the likelihood that it will spread an infection to the healthier parts.
  • Keep the geranium away from heat sources, except natural sunlight. If it is in the kitchen, for instance, position it away from the gas stove or any other appliance that will generate heat. Extreme heat can lead to the death of the plant.
  • Air movement is also important for the health of geraniums. Do not overcrowd the plants in one pot. If the air is minimal, there is a high likelihood that the geraniums will suffer from disease outbreaks. If there is too much air, on the other hand, the stems can break.
  • Fertilizing is important, but overfertilizing is one thing that you need to avoid. Different varieties may have different requirements when it comes to fertilizer. It is best to apply granular fertilizer in the spring. In the summer, on the other hand, you can apply liquid fertilizer.
  • Pinching is one technique that geranium growers can practice. This is simply a method of pruning, which allows the plant to be bushy and compact. Pinch it at least once in the spring when signs of development start to appear. Using your fingertips, pinch at least half an inch of the stem. In every stem, two new branches will eventually grow.

Conclusion 

Good sunlight, well-draining soil, and the right amount of water – these are the essentials for growing geraniums indoors. It is a care-free plant, which makes it the perfect choice for novices who are always hesitant to give gardening a shot.

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