Geraniums at home: how to care for and propagate

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Home geraniums - care and propagation-1 Did you know that you can grow geraniums with flowers of different shades and even scents at home?

Grafting geraniums is a great chance to feel if not a breeder, then at least a florist-entertainer.

Only young and healthy pelargoniums should be grafted. The ideal time to experiment with geraniums is spring. As a base, take any strong pelargonium older than one year. Cut off the top of a strong stem and make a cut in it “tick” about 2 cm. Insert the prepared scion cuttings there, trying to fit so that the slices of the scion and scion touch tightly. Bandage it with a piece of polyethylene or neatly fix it with a soft woolen thread, put a bag on top. In a week we will know if our graft has taken root.

Shall we try it?

More useful tricks and tips for growing pelargoniums – in our material.

Planting and care of geraniums

  • Flowering: can bloom all year round.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight (southern window).
  • Temperature: Room temperature during the growing season at a normal room temperature, during the resting period at 15 ˚C.
  • Watering during active growth abundant as the top layer of substrate dries up. In winter watering stops.
  • Humidity of the air: normal for living areas.
  • Fertilizing: from the end of March to the middle of November once every 2 weeks with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer for flowering plants.
  • Resting period from the end of the fall to early spring.
  • Repotting: infrequently, before the beginning of the growing season, when the plant becomes cramped in the pot.
  • Pruning: regularly in autumn. The shoots are shortened to sections with 6-7 leaves.
  • Pruning: each shoot above the fourth to fifth leaf.
  • Propagation: seeded, vegetative (cuttings).
  • Pests: aphids, whiteflies, spider mites.
  • Diseases: black rot, botrytis, rust, leaf spot, root rot, bacteriosis, viruses.
Read more about growing geraniums below

Pelargonium – a genus of geraniums from South Africa, counting up to 400 species and forms of annual and perennial plants. In Europe representatives of this genus appeared in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. Relatives of pelargoniums or flowering geraniums are meadow geraniums and common geraniums. All species of pelargoniums grown at home are grouped under the common name “indoor geranium”, and in this article we will tell you how to care for geraniums and how to multiply geraniums at home.

Growing Features

Geraniums are one of the most popular indoor plants, requiring neither much effort nor time to grow. Nevertheless, there are a few features that the amateur florist about the care of home geraniums does not hurt to know:

  • in winter, geraniums like cool temperatures, but you should not keep them in a room with a temperature below 10 ºC;
  • Geraniums love the sun, so the best place for a pot of geraniums is a southern window;
  • geraniums can flower all year round; they just need enough food and light: Don’t forget they come from South Africa;
  • Geraniums need to be pruned so that they become more branched;
  • Wilted flowers should always be removed;
  • Almost all geraniums need to be pruned regularly.

Home Geranium Care

Care rules

Growing geraniums at home is very easy. The soil for geraniums needs to be moderately fertile, so that the bush has more flowers and less greenery. It is important to provide a good drainage layer of coarse expanded clay in the pot with the plant. Water the geraniums abundantly, as the soil dries out, and in winter watering the geraniums almost stop. The geranium does not need spraying, since it prefers fresh, dry air, so it would be a good idea to take it out on the balcony in summer. Light, as already mentioned, should be bright, direct sunlight is welcome. And only on the hottest days geraniums are slightly covered from the sun. In summer the plant will be happy with any temperature, but in winter it is desirable that the room was about 15 ºC.


Fertilise with liquid fertiliser every two weeks from late March to mid-November. A great fertilizer for geraniums is a solution of iodine: 1 drop of iodine is dissolved in 1 liter of water and carefully poured 50ml over the walls of the pot. No more is needed so as not to burn the roots. After such a fertilizer room geraniums bloom long and abundantly. Do not use fresh organic fertilizer, geraniums do not tolerate it.


Geraniums do not like transplants, and do not really need them. Only when the roots will start to come out of the drain hole of the pot, you can subject her to this test. Planting or transplanting geraniums is done in early spring, when the plant begins its growing season. The pot should be chosen only a couple of centimeters larger in diameter than the one in which it grows, otherwise if the pot is large, you will get a mass of branchy shoots, but the geranium will not bloom.

House geranium-4 Picture: Growing geraniums in a pot


In autumn, it is time to prune the shoots of geraniums. Leave a stem with 6-7 leaves. Remove shoots growing not from the root but from the leaf axils. If the plant has over-wintered again, you can cut it off again in spring (end of February or start of March), leaving just a few buds on the stem. The cut-off twigs can then be used as propagation cuttings. To improve flowering and make the geranium bush denser, continue to prune after 4-5 leaves. From December to January to cut geraniums at home flower growers do not recommend.

Reproduction of geraniums

Growing from seed

Reproduction of geraniums by seed is not at all difficult. Purchased seeds germinate perfectly and give a large number of seedlings. Using seeds collected from your own geraniums is unlikely to yield the expected result because hybrid varieties lose their parent plant characteristics when propagated by seed. Sow the seeds of geraniums in loose moist soil (peat, sand and sod soil in a 1:1:2 ratio), cover the top with a layer of the same soil or sand with a thickness of two and a half centimeters. The top is sprinkled with water from a sprayer. To seedlings do not get sick “black leg”, the substrate should be pre-watered with a pink solution of manganese. Planting should be covered with glass and regularly moisten the soil, while eliminating condensation. The temperature for seed germination is 18-22 ºC. When seedlings appear, remove the glass, the container is moved to a bright place, but the temperature is reduced to 16-20 ºC. In 1.5-2 months the seedlings will have 2-3 true leaves, and they can be planted in pots, and when 5-6 leaves appear, you can prick the shoots to enhance tillering.


You can stock up on cuttings all year round, but it’s best to do it in the spring. Geranium cuttings should be 5-7 cm long and have 2-3 leaves. Freshly cut cut cuttings within a day to dry, then cover the place of cutting with ground coal and planted in a small pot with loose soil. Sometimes cuttings are rooted in coarse sand, which should be slightly moist all the time, but when watering the water should not get on the leaves and stems, so the plants will not rot. It is not necessary to cover the cuttings. After the cuttings have roots, they are transplanted into the ground in a permanent place. The optimal rooting temperature for cuttings is 20-22 ºC.

Geranium diseases

Geraniums rarely get sick, but if they do, it is usually caused by improper care. Sometimes young geraniums have a black stalk (black rot). Such plants are not cured, they must be destroyed, and the soil in which diseased specimens grew should be sterilized or replaced with a new one. Make sure that the soil is not overwatered – this is the cause of black, root and gray rot. Geraniums are sometimes attacked by mites, whiteflies or aphids. If mites or aphids attack your geraniums, wash the leaves, especially the underside, with a tincture of chamomile or tobacco and green soap. Rinse the leaves with water after 2-3 hours. From whiteflies you can get rid of the plant with such drugs as “Bison”, “Confidor”, “Aktellik” and “Fufanon”, and all in turn, because to get rid of this pest and its larvae is not so easy.

Why yellow geraniums

There can be several reasons why geranium leaves turn yellow:

  • If the leaves are yellow and dry only the edges, it means that the plant lacks moisture;
  • If the yellowing of the leaves is accompanied by dullness, it is because there is too much moisture;
  • geraniums turn yellow and lose their lower leaves from insufficient light;
  • Check to see if the plant is too small for its pot;
  • Sometimes the reason for the yellowing and dropping of the leaves can be due to adaptation after a change of location or after replanting the geranium.
Geraniums turn yellow-6 Picture: Geraniums turning yellow

Why geraniums don’t bloom

Usually the reason for geraniums not blooming is:

  • Too low temperature or lack of light. In such cases, you need to ensure that the plant extra light with fluorescent lamps;
  • Sometimes too fertile soil is to blame, so try to buy a special substrate for geraniums or make it yourself according to the recipe from our article;
  • too spacious pot, stimulating the growth of the root system, but inhibiting flowering;
  • untimely pruning: geraniums should be regularly “cut”, then they will branch more thickly and bloom more lushly;
  • Irregular feeding of geraniums.

Why Geraniums Dry Up

If geraniums have drying leaves with only their tips, they don’t have enough water. Another reason for geraniums drying out is the fungal disease rust: the leaves are first covered with red-brown spots, then begin to dry out and fall off. Spray geraniums with a 5% solution of Bordeaux liquid or treat it twice with phytosporin at intervals of 7-10 days.

Geranium leaves dry out-7 Pictured: Geranium leaves drying out

Species and varieties

Most often in home floriculture, zonal geraniums are used, or kalachik, as it is still called in common parlance. It is distinguished by dark concentric circles on the leaves, grows to 30-60 cm in height, sometimes even up to a meter, blooms with simple or macro bright flowers collected in globular umbrella inflorescences of red, crimson, white or pink flowers.

Geranium ivy-leaved or thyroid

Ampelous hanging plant with brittle hanging shoots up to one meter long with tassel-like inflorescences of simple, semi-maximum and terry flowers in a wide range of colors.

The Royal or English Large-flowered Geranium

It is also home, royal noble) is represented by a variety of varieties, forms and colors, sometimes with mottled leaves, with simple and large-scale flowers. The plant height – up to half a meter, is distinguished by a dark spot or stripes along the veins on the lower petals.

Geranium ivy leaf-8 In the photo: Geranium ivy-leaved

Fragrant geraniums

With the scent of lemon, almond, pepper, melissa, mint, ginger, pineapple, strawberry, coconut, pine when you touch the leaves – really a miracle of nature, used to produce geranium oil, valuable for the cosmetic, medical and food industries. Their flowers are small, pinkish or purple.


Geraniums similar to pansies that bloom in dangling caps of inflorescences. Geraniums are compact shrubs up to 30 cm high.

Geranium royale-9 In the photo: Geranium Royal.


A hybrid of glossy and royal geraniums with strongly parted leaves and a spicy scent. Flowers of incredible beauty resemble the inflorescences of royal geraniums.

Succulent Geraniums

Represented by 10 species: with prickles, like cacti, and without prickles. Interesting for their decoratively curved stems, resembling small baobabs. They are used to create bonsai.


  1. Read about the subject on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the geranium family
  3. All Species List at The Plant List
  4. More information at World Flora Online